DISTRESSING NEWS: Black Joblessness Increases In Indy; Incomes Stagnant; Poverty Up

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    unemploymentThe economic condition of African-Americans in America’s 11th largest city stagnated last year, with Black unemployment reaching near crisis levels! That’s according to new data released by the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).

    Unemployment in the Indianapolis African-American community continued at crisis levels accruing the 2012 Census ACS. In 2011, Black unemployment in Indianapolis/Marion County was 18.2%.  But in 2012, Black unemployment rose to a stunning 19.1%.  This increased in Black unemployment both in percent and actual numbers occurred while overall unemployment in the city/county declined in 2012 from 2011.

    The actual number of African-Americans in Indianapolis/Marion County in the workforce increased in 2012; up 8,308 from 2011.  The number of Blacks employed in the city/county rose by 5,001 persons in 2012.  But, unfortunately, the number of Blacks who said they were unemployed also rose by 3,492 during the same year. Of the six townships in Marion County with the largest Black unemployment, unemployment rose in four of them. Black unemployment rose in Lawrence Township from 12.9% in 2011 to 15.0% in 2012; in Warren Township from 17.6% to 19.1%; in Washington from 12.0% to 14.5% and in Wayne Township from 16.8% to a stunning 23.6%. In two townships, Black unemployment declined. In Center Township from 30.2% to 28.8% and in Pike from 17.1% to 15.8%. In 2011, 38.3% of those unemployed in Indianapolis were African-American. In 2012 that percentage rose sharply to 47.5%! Black unemployment statewide also sharply increased rising from 17.5% in 2011 to a stunning 19.1% in 2012.  The actual number of Blacks unemployed statewide rose from 48,190 in 2011 to 55,921 last year.

    The Census ACS reported that Black median household income in Indianapolis was stagnant. It was $29,314 in 2012 compared with $29,599 in 2011. Statewide, Black Median Household Income was also stagnant going from $28,732 in 2011 to $28,469 in 2012. But the numbers of African-Americans families and individuals living in poverty rose in Indianapolis. In 2012 fully a quarter (25.4%) of Black families lived below the Federal poverty level; compared with 24.4% the previous year.  The number of Black individuals living in poverty last year was 31.0%; compared with 29.7% in 2011.  And the number of Black children under five living in poverty in the city/county in 2012 was 44.7%; compared with 45.2% in 2011. Among Blacks in the ten county Indianapolis/Carmel Metro area, 24.0% of Black families and 29.1% of all persons lived in poverty reports the Census ACS. Despite increased Black unemployment statewide, the numbers of Blacks living below the poverty level decreased with 28.1% of all Black families and 32.9% of all Black persons statewide living in poverty in 2012. Compared with 30.2% of Black families and 33.9% of all Black persons in poverty in 2011. Median Black household income statewide was stagnant; $28,469 in 2012 versus $28,732 in 2011.

    Poverty in Indianapolis/Marion County slightly increased last year as 16.6% of all families in the city/county lived below the poverty level; compared with 16.5% in 2011.  That’s one of the many results from the 2012 Census American Community Survey released Thursday.  The data shows that despite an economy recovery in some parts of the country, the recovery didn’t impact the country’s 11th largest city.  Among all persons in Indianapolis, over a fifth, 21.5% lived below the poverty level; compared to 21.1% the year before. Before the financial downtown in late 2008, the economy was reasonable good in Indianapolis, with just 11.5% of all city/county families and 15.9% of all persons lived in poverty. Household income in Indianapolis still while recovering slightly in 2012, still hasn’t reached pre-recession levels. Median Household Income in the city/county last year was $41,409 up from $40,072 in 2011.  Hut far below the $46,669 median household income for Indianapolis households in 2008.

    The unemployment rate in or Indianapolis/Marion County in 2012, according to the Census ACS was 110.0%, down from the 12.0% unemployment rate in 2011.  But still far below pre-recession 7.8% unemployment in 2008. The number of employed rose 14,944 from 2011 to 2012; while the number of unemployed decreased by 3,780. Overall unemployment in three Marion County townshiops rose in 2012 and fell in four townships. Unemployment in Lawrence Townshiop climbed to 9.5% from 8.3, Pike Township rose to 12.3% from 11.7%; Warren Township unemployment climbed to 14.1% from 11.7%. Unemployment declined in Center Township from 20.5% in 2011 to 19.5% last year. Unemployment also fell in Perry Townbship from 10.6% to 6.9%; from 8.3% to 6.1% in Washington Township and from 14.8% to 13.0% in Wayne Township. Statewide, according to the Census 2012 ACS, overall unemployment in Indiana fell to 8.8% last year from 10.0% in 2011.

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