The percentage of working-age residents who are not working and report that they are looking for work and available to take a job if offered one
Black residents are nearly five times as likely as white residents to experience unemployment.
A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.
For Unemployment, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — would mean black and white residents in the City of St. Louis are equally likely to experience unemployment. It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal; we also want to improve outcomes for all.
What does this indicator measure?
Unemployment measures the percentage of working-age residents who are not working and report that they are looking for work and available to take a job if offered one. Working age is defined as over the age of 16. In 2016, there were 12,114 unemployed residents of St. Louis, which translates to an unemployment rate of 7.1%.
Working-age residents unemployed and seeking work in St. Louis City.
|All||Black||White||Disparity Ratio||Equity Score|
|Unemployment rate||7.1%||13.1%||2.7%||4.799 to 1||21|
Data Source: American Community Survey 1-year PUMS, 2016.
Data Note: PUMS data may differ slightly from estimates on American FactFinder due to differences in sampling. See PUMS technical documentation for more information. The number of sample cases is too small to report reliable estimates for additional racial groups.
What does this analysis mean?
Black residents are nearly five times as likely as white residents to experience unemployment. 13.1% of black residents are unemployed, compared to 2.7% of white residents. If the unemployment rate were equitable, there would be 7,230 fewer unemployed black residents.
Why does Unemployment matter?
There is both an economic and psychological cost to unemployment. Jobs allow individuals to provide for themselves and their families, and help them contribute productively to society. Long-term unemployment is found to negatively impact mental and physical health, resulting in greater incidence of stress-related health conditions and depression.
Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are linked with this indicator?
The Ferguson Commission’s calls to action related to unemployment include:
- Enhance Collaboration Between Educational Institutions and Employers
- Ensure Employer-Educator Collaborations Build a Love of Learning
- Preferentially Fund Job Training Programs that Show Impact
- Implement a State Section 3 Hiring Program
- Launch Best Practice-Driven Job Training Programs
- Expand Funding for Job Training and Wage Support Programs
- Modify Procurements Systems to Encourage Hiring of Targeted Employees
Questions for further investigation
- Why is there a racial disparity in Unemployment?
- What can St. Louis do to reduce racial disparities in Unemployment?
- What initiatives are currently underway to reduce racial disparities in Unemployment?
How can I learn more about this issue?
In 2017, the Brookings Institution compared racial disparities in employment for cities and counties with populations over 500,000. The St. Louis Federal Reserve has published some discussion on why there is racial disparity in unemployment, including that the disparity persists even when accounting for educational attainment.