In recent years, unemployment has seen the biggest decline for Black women compared to other racial and gender demographics. In 1890, for example, before the arrival of many migrant communities, 40 per cent of all black women were employed – more than any other racial group. But we ask, where exactly are these jobs?
Firstly, there are some parts of the country that are less favorable for black job seekers. On June 8, the Economic Policy Institute – a research organization based in Washington D.C. – revealed that black unemployment in Detroit and Minneapolis was at a rate of over 20 percent. St. Louis, Las Vegas and Memphis were not far behind.
The South in general can also be particularly difficult for black female workers. Because there is a concentration of black communities in the South, much seasonal and agricultural work means employment levels fluctuate for black workers.
The financial crisis was also still problematic for black women. The secondary labor market that support many black women in employment was severely hit by high rates of bankruptcy and job losses.
There is good news for black women though. Improvements to organizational structures have allowed for an increase in the amount of black women in positions of higher employment.
A few years ago Essence Magazine’s Jayme S. Gayney profiled America’s top 25 Greatest Companies for Black Women. Some standouts included Coca Cola, Colgate, Citigroup and Comcast at various locations across the country.
Companies surveyed were reviewed on their treatment of diversity through policy implementation and general treatment of all workers. These policies were tested in practice by research from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.