Unemployment Rate Hits 50-Year Low in September

The unemployment rate, or the jobless rate, dropped 0.2 percentage points to 3.5 percent in September 2019, marking the lowest rate since December 1969, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). When discouraged workers and the underemployed are factored in, the rate has still declined 0.3 percentage points to 6.9 percent, matching its lowest in almost 19 years and near the all-time low of 6.8 percent. 

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The Movers & the Shakedown

America has long been crowned as the land of dreamers, the land of opportunity, and if you work hard enough and remain diligent, there is nothing you can’t achieve. The wealth is in land and labor, and it’s that which accumulates, you can control, and pass on to the next generation. Black people are not very active in the home buying market today and the likelihood of changing this outlook is bleak. As the Pew Research Center reports, in 1994, 42.3 percent of black households owned their homes; in 2016, their homeownership rate is 41.3 percent. The dream of homeownership is fleeting for black households stemming from being a historically disadvantaged group. As we look at the effects of the foreclosure and unemployment crisis resulting from the Great Recession, an optimistic outlook is hard to find.

In examining the contributing factors and consequences of the 2007-2008 foreclosure crisis, the ramifications of housing discrimination against black householders, then and now, remain virtually unchanged. With the influx of stable employment and easily accessible mortgages, many Blacks were able to participate in the American dream of homeownership. But with the ease and accessibility of ownership came subprime loans, manipulated interest rates and overpayment of homes. It was a ticking time bomb.

Across the nation, black homeowners were disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis, with more than 240,000 of them losing their homes. In a 2014 article investigating the foreclosure crisis, Nathalie Baptiste presents staggering facts regarding the deterioration of black wealth. She states that the foreclosures affected blacks of all income brackets, and high-earning blacks were 80 percent more likely to lose their homes than their white counterparts.
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