Audio Included in Post. Runs 47 Minutes ©2011 WTLC/Radio One. The stats are stunning. At 21.3% Indianapolis/Marion County has one of the highest rates of Black unemployment of any major city in the country. That’s findings from the 2010 Census American Community Survey. On a special Afternoons with Amos, key community institutions and leaders were summoned and asked what they planned to do about a crisis where two-in-nine African-Americans were jobless in 2010; including a stunning one-in-four Black men. Tammie Barney, VP of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and Jay Geshay, VP of United Way agreed there was a crisis and that the city needed to act.  So did the Indianapolis Urban League’s Mark Russell who said the League’s national blueprint for dealing with Black employment could be a start. Longtime grassroots leader Reggie Jones brought a sense of perspective to the conversation.  Hear their full interview above. And offer your comments and suggestions for action.

Below is detailed data on the scope of the crisis impacting Indianapolis individuals and families:

Unemployment for African-Americans in Indianapolis/Marion County was 21.3% for 2010.  Black male unemployment was a stunning 25.4%.  Black females unemployment was 17.9%. Indyu’s Black unemployment was the nin th highest of any large Black community in the country!  The number of Blacks in the Labor Force in Indianapolis rose from 2000 to 2010 by 23.5%. But the number of African-Americans employed in 2010 was just 8.3% higher than in 2000. To a record high 92,468.  But the 24,972 Blacks unemployed represented a 157.6% increase from a decade earlier.

The overall number of Indianapolis/Marion County residents employed in 2010 was 413741, a decline of 18,561 or -4.3% from 2000.  Though the population of those in the labor force increased 20,426 or 4.5% during the same period.  Overall unemployment in 2010 as measured by the 2010 Census ACS was 13.3%. In 2009 the Census ACS reported unemployment at 12.9% and 7.4% in 2007. 2010 unemployment for non-Hispanic whites was 10.1%.  For Hispanics 14.8%.

The poverty rate for African-Americans in the city/county was 21.4% for families and 24.4% for individuals. Three-in-ten (30.3%) Black households with children in Indianapolis/Marion County live below the poverty rate. While over two-in-five (41.9%) Black households with children under 5 live in poverty.  The city/county’s poverty rate for families in 2010 rose to 16.3% and for individuals rose to 20.6%.  In 2009 the rate was 15.4% and 19.5% respectively. In 2007, the family poverty rate for the city/county was 11.6% families, 15.4% individuals. Over a quarter (26.9%) of all Indianapolis households with children live below the poverty line; with a third (32.7%) of all households with children under five live in poverty.

Overall Median Household Income in Indianapolis/Marion County in 2010 has fallen below $40,000 for the first time in years to $38,959.  In 2007 median household income in the city/county was $47,366. So median income has fallen 17.7% in just four years.

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