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Economist To Speak On Minority Unemployment Crisis

NEW YORK  – Economic Policy Institute (EPI) President Lawrence Mishel will address the unemployment crisis and its disproportionate impact on people of color during the NAACP’s annual meeting in New York on Friday, February 18 from 12:30 - 1:30pm. Mishel, whose organization just released a report on the sluggish economic recovery, will lay out solutions to the current crisis and reasons for addressing the high level of unemployment among people of color.

The presentation is scheduled to take place during the luncheon from 12:00-1:30, in the Reagant Parlor/Sutton South Room of the New York City Hilton Hotel.

“Lawrence Mishel is a nationally respected economist at the forefront of one of the nation’s leading economic think tanks,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “His insight will help our board members gain perspective on the enormity of the current unemployment crisis, and provide a springboard for future action.”

A new report by the EPI predicts that the national unemployment rate will remain above 15 percent for African Americans through 2012, and that it may take up to a decade before pre-recession levels of unemployment are restored. Mishel also notes that factoring in various types of underemployment, such as those part-time workers who cannot find full-time work, results in a rate closer to 25%. He believes that government must play an active role in putting Americans back to work.

“Unfortunately, what is unacceptable is being accepted by today’s policy debate,” stated Mishel. “Although there is much mention of jobs, there is little being offered that will change the circumstances of the unemployed and the vulnerable. Budget cuts at both the state and federal levels will only diminish the overall need for workers, as well as scale back needed programs.”

“Those who care about families facing unemployment and the continued pressure to cut wages and benefits should be focusing their efforts on job creation,” he continued. “After all, the reason why we have large deficits is that we have a huge recession where the unemployed are not paying taxes and firms earn subpar profits. The first step toward a sustainable fiscal situation is actually to put people back to work.”

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.




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