Sow Entrepreneurship Reap Employment

Black business growth over the last decade hasbeen substantial, but is it enough to change thelarger employment picture for African Americans?

1.4 million units in 1997. “That is a reflection of the rise in mortgage interest rates in 1996.”

Unfortunately, the moderate expansion of the U.S. economy in 1997 will also mean little improvement in the economic position of African Americans. Blacks will continue to suffer from sizable deficits in both jobs and income.

Looking forward, Brimmer predicts the following: the total civilian labor force will increase to 135.8 million in 1997; the black labor force will expand to 15.5 million, equal to 11.45% of the total; black employment will average 13.9 million and represent 10.8% of the total 128.4 million; and unemployment among blacks may average 1.6 million in 1997, a total equal to 22.3% of the total number of unemployment persons.

So beyond the numbers, what does this all means? If Brimmer’s numbers pan out, the black unemployment rate will almost double that of white Americans: 10.6% vs. 5.8%. Ironically, this would mark a further modest “improvement” in our labor market position during the current year.

On the 1997 financial front, Brimmer predicts total money income in the U.S. may increase to $4.95 billion and income received by blacks will rise to $396.1 billion.

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