U.S. Representative Don Beyer, member of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement on the JEC’s new report that African Americans continue to face economic challenges and are nearly three times as likely as white Americans to live in poverty.
“This report documents persistent economic barriers African Americans face, even as the rest of the country recovers from the worst financial downturn since the Great Depression,â€said Rep. Beyer â€œIf we are to meet the challenge of the promise of equality in America we need to address these inequities in employment, income, wealth, housing and education through policies designed for inclusive prosperity. In our commitment to a new American economy, to inclusive prosperity that lifts up all Americans, let us be ever mindful of the decisions we make that can change the economic condition of black Americans for generations to come.”
Beyer joined Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the JEC, and Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) at a press conference to discuss the report, which reveals that African Americans continue to face disproportionately high rates of poverty, unemployment and long-term unemployment as well as significantly lower incomes and slower wealth accumulation than white households. When examining various measures to determine economic well-being, the report finds black Americans lag far behind the white population.
Included in the reportâ€™s key findings:
- The median income of African American households is $34,600â€”nearly $24,000 less than the median income of white households ($58,300).
- The median net worth of white households is 13 times the level for black households.
- Black Americans are almost three times more likely to live in poverty than white Americans.
- At 10.1 percent, the current unemployment rate for black Americans is double the rate for white Americans.
- Black Americans currently face an unemployment rate that is higher than the national unemployment rate ever reached during the recent recession.
The full report is available here.