As often happens during periods of economic downturns, minorities tend to suffer more than others. A regional research group released a study Tuesday documenting the latest disparities. 31 percent of black men in the metro area aged 25 to 54 are unemployed. That's almost two-and-a-half times more than whites.
The jobless rate for African - American men living in the city of Cleveland is even higher....38 percent. And even more disheartening, the study suggests that tens of thousands of black men in NE Ohio are nearly unemployable in our knowledge-based economy. The study indicates that as manufacturing jobs disappear any replacement jobs tend to require more education. Randell McShepard, founder of the group, says he hopes the bleak numbers will generate some action. "We don't want people to just read the report and shake their heads," McShepard says, "and say black males are in a bad place; there's not much opportunity for them. We want them to say, 'what can be done about it.' " McShepard, who co-authored the Policy Bridge report, calls the situation a "full-blown economic emergency."