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Unemployment rate high for Black Americans

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - The Bureau of Labor Statistic released their monthly report and it shows the unemployment rate for Black Americans is 9.7 percent. 

Larry Gist is the president of the Fort Wayne NAACP and he says it’s harder for people of color to get a job in the United States. 

"We just need a level playing field,” Gist said. "They’re just not hiring people of color, even though they’re qualified.” 

He says often times employers won’t hire people of color even if they have the right qualifications. 

“We just need a level playing field especially the way that things and the economy are going on now,” he said. 

Rachel Blakeman is the director of the community research center at Purdue Fort Wayne. 

“We talked to folks who are conservative they would say its personal choice, or something that led us there or they just want to reap the benefits,” she said. “But if we talk to liberal folks, they will say hold on I think there's some structural inequities here that are holding people back." 

She says in Allen County the overall unemployment rate is at 4.7 compared to the national 6.1.  

"We have a misalignment of the labor market, so when we look at it some of these jobs just don’t pay very well,” she said. “It's going to be an ongoing difficulty and it’s not going to change soon.” 

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Karli VanCleave

Karli VanCleave is a multimedia journalist at WPTA for the evening newscast. Karli is a Fort Wayne native and Indiana University Bloomington graduate.
Feel free to connect with her on Facebook (@KarliVanCleaveNews) and Twitter (@Karli_VanCleave), or if you have a story idea send her an email at

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