Friday, January 9, 2009

Economics: Economists say black Americans suffer more during recession

Economists say black Americans struggle more during hard times.

Natalie Hinton-Stalling is a typical middle class mom, raising two teenage kids with her husband. The Stalling’s are retired, but admit even with their money tied up in savings and investment accounts; they're feeling the effects of the economy.

“You can't plan on things now because you don't know if your basic needs are going to be taken care of,” said Natalie.

UNCW economist, Denis Carter said, “In my lifetime this is the worst recession that I've experienced.”

Carter said during a recession all Americans face hard times, but said black Americans could suffer more. “In the recession period, the black middle class will find problems getting financing, debts that they carrying really become burdensome, and their potential for job losses will increase.”

Dr. Carter said blacks only make up a small percentage of the middle class in America, so when the black middle class is hit with layoffs, foreclosures or financial instability, it can cause a downward economic effect to working-class blacks in lower paying jobs. “This is a group that will benefit if they start making some lifestyle and career decisions that will begin to move them up.”

Carter suggests going back to school to learn a new skill. Careers in medicine and computer technology are growing. He said cutting back on spending is also key; something Stalling is doing until the economy gets better.

“Personally, I'm hoping that a change in our administration will mean a change in our economy all the way around,” Natalie said.

Right now the nation's unemployment rate is at 6.7 percent. Carter said Hispanic-Americans are having a hard time too. Asian-Americans, though, are doing much better.

1 comment:

sharmaine said...

As they say, "A recession in White America, is a depression in Black America".

So true. There aren't that many Black people in the top 1% of earners, so everyone is being hit hard.

I still don't understand why Black-Americans spend so much money on disposable goods, even though there's a recession. I mean, your weave and ps3 aren't going to keep you warm if your house is being foreclosed.

I feel like if we had better financial education as a community we could make better decisions. That way every recession wouldn't spell disaster for so many of us.