06-25-2018  2:48 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Teen uses sign language to help blind and deaf man on flight

BOSTON (AP) — A teenager is being credited with coming to the aid of a blind and deaf man during a flight from Boston to Portland, Oregon.Clara Daly, of Calabasas, California, says she and her mother were traveling last week when the flight attendants asked if anyone knew American Sign...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

The Latest: Meek Mill debuts 'Stay Woke' song at BET Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the 2018 BET Awards, which are being presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater (all times local):7:45 p.m.Rapper Meek Mill has performed a new song, "Stay Woke," on the BET Awards with a striking performance that touched on police violence against black youth...

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent, but the show included superior performances by rising singer H.E.R, rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and nearly brought her to...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

ENTERTAINMENT

The Latest: Prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting

The Latest on the investigation into the business interests of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen (all times local):8:30 p.m.Stormy Daniels' lawyer says the porn actress' meeting with federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer has...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent,...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their...

College sports doctors under new scrutiny amid scandals

Allegations of sexual abuse carried out over decades by team physicians at Michigan State and Ohio State are...

Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

86 killed in central Nigeria as farmers, herders clash

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Scores are dead after vicious weekend clashes in central Nigeria between mostly...

Thai officials believe 12 boys missing in cave are alive

MAE SAI, Thailand (AP) — Multiple attempts to locate 12 boys and their soccer coach missing in a flooded...

Freddie Allen Louisiana Weekly

WASHINGTON (NNPA) —  Economists are breathing a sigh of relief after the Labor Depart­ment reported last week that employers added 163,000 workers to their payrolls last month, doubling the 80,000 jobs added in June. More jobs were added in July, than in the previous two months combined (69,000 jobs were picked up in May).

The unemployment rate still managed to creep up to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June, confounding supporters of President Obama and rallying the Republicans, eager for the showdown in November.

How can the unemployment rate go up as the economy gains jobs? It depends on whom you ask. The Labor Department utilizes two different surveys to measure the employment outlook in the U.S. The government polls business owners to get the jobs number, which economists say is a more accurate gauge of employment trends. The unemployment rate is derived from household surveys.

When it comes to the Black unemployment rate, it doesn't matter who you ask – the numbers are dismal.

In July, the unemployment rate for Blacks was 14.1 percent, a slight decrease from June's 14.4 percent while the jobless rate for whites stayed flat at 7.4 percent. Back women fared better in July (12.5 percent) than June (13.7 percent), but nowhere near as well as white women who, even with a slight increase (7.3 from 7.0 percent), still landed below the national average of 8.3 percent. In comparison, Black men fared far worse than the other groups nearly doubling the national average from July with an increase from 15.1 percent to 15.8 percent. The rate for white men dipped slightly from 7.6 to 7.5 percent.

Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, said that July's unemployment numbers indicate that the economy is making "slow and rocky progress." The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs per month on average for the first seven months of 2012. In 2011, employers hired roughly 153,000 workers a month.

"If we were at full employment, we'd be happy with those numbers, because they're enough to keep up with population growth," Shierholz said. But when millions of Americans are out of work or have simply given up hope of ever finding a job and earning a living wage, adding 151,000 jobs a month just won't cut it.

"The number of jobs we need to get back to full employment is around 10 million," Shierholz explained. "At that pace, it's going to take so long to get back to anything that looks like health in the labor market. That is just completely unacceptable."

Other economists suggest that the fierce political climate and partisan bickering in Washington has redefined just what we are willing to accept.

Steven Pitts, labor policy specialist at University of Cali­fornia-Berkeley's Labor Center, compared the unhealthy job market to someone who is dangerously overweight. If that person's ideal weight is 185 pounds, but their actual weight 400 pounds, when that person loses 10 pounds, of course it's an improvement—but they're still grossly overweight. If we begin to celebrate meager gains in the economy, Pitts suggested that we may begin to settle for less: healthier than last month, but only an oreo away from cardiac arrest.

"My fear is that we get to a new normal," said Pitts. A new normal for Blacks would translate into depression-level unemployment rates, overcrowded food banks and half-empty shopping malls.

For economists such as Shierholz, it's ultimately up to the government to step up and boost the economy through practical fiscal policy.

"The economics are clear," Shierholz said. "[The economy] needs more fiscal stimulus and more relief to state and local governments, so that we can stop hemorrhaging jobs at the state and local levels."

Relief to state and local governments will spur job growth in the public sector where Blacks find employment at much higher rates than other groups. In a 2011 research brief on Black workers in the public sector Pitts wrote:

The public sector is the single most important source of employment for African Ameri­cans.

During 2008-2010, 21.2 percent of all Black workers are public employees, compared with 16.3 percent of non-Black workers. Both before and after the onset of the Great Recession,

African Americans were 30 percent more likely than other workers to be employed in the public sector.

For both men and women, the median wage earned by Black employees is significantly higher in the public sector than in other industries.

Prior to the recession, the wage differential between Black and white workers was less in the public sector than in the overall economy.

For decades, jobs in the public sector have been the most stable, highest-paying jobs that Blacks could find. You could raise a family, get health insurance and send your children to school.

"You're not going to get rich on a [public sector salary], but you're going to be okay," said Shierholz. "The loss of state and local jobs means that the Black community gets hit disproportionally hard."

As the economy added 163,000 private sector jobs in July, it shed 9,000 public sector jobs.

Layoffs and deep cuts in public sector spending can lead to an erosion in consumer spending power and with Black buying power expected to top a trillion dollars by 2015, depression-level unemployment and joblessness in the Black community could continue to weigh down a sluggish economic recovery for years to come.

"It's going to be at least another five years maybe more before we get back to something that looks like a healthy labor market," Shierholz said. "It's horribly disappointing and tragic."

This article was originally published in the August 13, 2012 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper

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