The unemployment rate for black men in Milwaukee has reached a record high of 53 percent, according to a report released by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The unemployment rate represents a 13.4 percent increase for black men in Milwaukee county from 2008, according to the report.
The study, performed by a professor of urban studies and history at UW-Milwaukee, compared the rate of jobless black males to white and Hispanic males living in Milwaukee in 2009.
While unemployment in the state of Wisconsin may be decreasing, black males in Milwaukee without jobs are increasing, according to the report.
“In short, in Milwaukee, as well as several other metropolitan areas across the country, most working-age African American males are not employed,” Mark Levine, the author of the study, said in the report.
The unemployment rate for black men is three times the rate for white men in Milwaukee, according to the report.
The unemployment rate for black men aged 25 to 52 was 44 percent in 2009, while for white men, the rate was 14.4 percent and 25.8 percent for Hispanic males, the study reported.
Milwaukee’s unemployment rate for black males is second only to Detroit, according to the report.
Milwaukee is the fourth most impoverished big city in the United States, following Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo, according to the US Census Bureau.
The report calculated unemployment differently than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics because it included demographics that are usually not accounted for – including those who have stopped looking for work or never entered the labor force, and individuals who are incarcerated.
The rate of unemployed black men in Milwaukee is much higher than the overall unemployment rate for the city, which is 10 percent, according to the Department of Workforce Development for Wisconsin. Dane County’s unemployment rate is six percent.
According to the US Bureau of Labor, Wisconsin does not rank among the states with the highest overall unemployment, but minority unemployment rates were not specifically analyzed in these statistics.
The national unemployment rate as of Sept. 2010 was 9.6 percent. In the same report, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was only 7.8 percent.