MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — African Americans are not experiencing the same economic recovery compared to others in the country, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy.
Some organizations say Minnesota is experiencing a crisis level of inequality with wages and jobs.READ MORE: 5 St. Cloud Bank Employees Unharmed After Hourslong Hostage Ordeal; Ray Reco McNeary In Custody
Black unemployment is four times higher than whites in the state.
“It’s a report that shows, I think, what we already knew,” Neighborhoods Organizing for Change’s Anthony Newby said.
He says he did not need a report to know the challenges faced by many in his community.
“If you look right outside the door here on Broadway Avenue, you’ll see a total lack of industry. We’ve got low-wage jobs, low-wage opportunities,” Newby said. “We’re a mile and a half or so from downtown Minneapolis, which is considered one of the economic hubs, certainly of the Midwest.”
The report spells out how the economy is bouncing back, but not for African Americans — especially those who live in Minnesota.
Since 2000, wages have decreased by 44 cents an hour for African Americans. This statistic does not ring true for whites or Latinos.READ MORE: How Much Is A Mother's Work Worth?
“We’re told that Minnesota is one of the best places in the country to live if you want a job, and that’s true if you’re a white person. Unemployment is 2.8 percent. If you’re black, its 10.9 percent,” Newby said.
Kentha Parker says she is more than a statistic.
“I’ve been looking for work since 2011, since the tornado,” Parker said.
She’s a mother who is struggling to find work to take care of her family. She says she’s tired of hearing these words: “We’re not hiring at this time, we’ll keep your application on file.”
“The Federal Reserve, which has a branch right here in Minneapolis, could do a lot to actually influence the general economy,” Newby said.
He believes the Federal Reserve has the power to keep interest rates low, which in turn could boost wages and help reduce income inequality.
Newby says Neighborhoods Organizing for Change will push to be a part of the conversation.MORE NEWS: COVID Restrictions: Walz To End Capacity Restrictions By May 28, Mask Mandate By July 1
He wants to see people of color at the table when the Federal Reserve produces its policies.