Black Businesses Can Make The Difference

Minority firms must take the lead to lower African American unemployment

to the economy as a whole, where only about 10.5% of all employed workers are African American.

Examining the employment data for 722 of the most successful African American-owned firms in the Atlanta metropolitan area, we found that 77% of their employees are African American, that these firms are located overwhelmingly in black communities and that 21% of these employees are from low-income inner-city neighborhoods. The conclusion is that if the government or society wishes to increase African American employment and reduce the economic distress of inner-city neighborhoods, the most effective way to accomplish this is by promoting the growth of African American-owned businesses. This is the policy we propose. But a policy must be accompanied by a comprehensive strategy to achieve it.

Thomas D. Boston, professor of economics at Georgia Institute of Technology, Is a member of the BE Board of Economists

WHERE WE WORK

Areas of black
employment 1995

Executive, administrative
and managerial

Administrative support, Including clerical

Precision production, craft and repair

Machines operators, assemblers and Inspectors

Equipment cleaners, helpers and laborers

MANUFACTURING

97

192

362

990

170

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE

142

175

65

54

240

SERVICES

495

646

153

124

88

SERVICES INDUSTRIES

493

643

153

123

83

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

342

631

50

28

10

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

201

290

29

7

9

*In Thousands source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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