President Obama Answers NAACP Call to Fight Employment Discrimination in Push to Create New Jobs

(Baltimore, MD) -  On Thursday evening, President Barack Obama called for legislation ending discrimination against the unemployed in his joint speech to Congress, marking a victory for the NAACP.  The NAACP along with many others in the civil rights community and Congress have addressed this issue with President Obama.

“The agenda President Obama outlined in his address embodies the principles of the NAACP by being pro-civil rights, pro-human dignity, and  pro-American dream for all,” stated NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock. “We look forward to working with the Administration to accomplish these objectives.”

“We are extremely heartened that President Obama has heeded our call to end discrimination against the unemployed,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “When I met with the President in July, I stressed the need to reach out to unemployed workers rather than pushing them away. Any meaningful job creation plan must include strategies to bring those long-term unemployed back into the workforce. The NAACP will continue to fight against job discrimination as we call for improving job creation.”

The unemployment rate for African Americans stands at over 16%, nearly twice the average national rate of other Americans. For black teens, the rate recently rose to over 46%.  In last night’s speech, President Obama also announced a combination of tax incentives and stimulus for companies to create jobs in the United States, as well as a special consideration for youth job creation.

“The recent unemployment numbers are an indication that more needs to be done to create jobs, with an additional level of focus on communities that have demonstrated a stubbornly high levels of unemployment,” stated NAACP Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Policy Hilary O. Shelton. “It is deeply concerning that the Black unemployment rate is so disproportionally high, and that black males and youth have even higher rates of unemployment.   The NAACP remains committed to working with President Obama and Congress to address this employment disparity and get America back to work.”