Wickham, who proclaims himself a fan of the president, notes that the black unemployment rate today is 15.5 percent, up from 8.1 percent in July 2007. Of course, the unemployment rates for all subgroups rose after the October 2008 financial panic. But Wickham points out that the differential between the black unemployment rate and the national rate has gotten larger — going from a 5.5-point gap in December 2009 to 7 points today.
There are a number of reasons for the high black unemployment rate. It’s unlikely, however, that the administration’s inclination to adopt policies and issue regulations that increase the cost of labor (and that render the labor landscape unpredictable) will do much to lower that rate.