Is the Bush Depression Killing the Black Middle Class?

Over at the Organizations, Occupations and Work blog, a fellow sociologist blogger, Matt Vidal, has an important analysis of some recent data on unemployment and employment indicating severe racial inequalities. And he raises the issue of the dicey future of the black middle class. He begins with this statement about this New York Times article:

A recent New York Times article reports on how the long downturn of the US economy has hit the public sector hard, which, in turn, has been devastating for the black middle class. The article notes that black workers are about one third more likely than whites to be employed in the public sector. Blacks have historically been more able to find work in the public sector, as they faced more discrimination in the private sector. Overall, unemployment rates for blacks have consistently been about twice that for whites, with the black unemployment rate peaking at 16.7% last summer.

I call your attention to his good summary of some of the key issues, with some good links. His conclusion will not come as a surprise to readers of this sociological blog:

The upshot is that any way to address the problem most be organizational or structural, not individual.