Sharpton calls out high unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers in wake of pandemic

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Thursday, March 7, 2024
Sharpton to call for changes in wake of Black unemployment numbers in NYC
Sharpton is calling for more contracts for Black-owned businesses.

EAST ELMHURST, Queens (WABC) -- Reverend Al Sharpton is calling out the high unemployment rate for Black New Yorkers.

Sharpton plans to demand more contracts for minority-owned businesses at a news conference Thursday in East Elmhurst, Queens, one of the hardest hit areas by the pandemic.

The city's Black unemployment rate is currently 9.4%, that's more than five points higher than white unemployment.

A report last year from the New School Center for NYC Affairs sounded the alarm on the growing disparity. The report said for the first time this century the gap between Black and white unemployment rates in New York City is widening.

Mayor Eric Adams has recently been promoting a record $6 billion in contracts granted to minority and women-owned businesses.

On Thursday, the mayor announced a new $25 million space to help launch and grow BIPOC, woman-owned health and beauty businesses at Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The project is expected to create over 900 jobs in the first five years, as well as strengthen New York City's position as a leader in the $450 billion health and beauty industry.

"While the beauty and wellness industry continues to boom by serving Black and Brown people, that wealth has not come back to those same communities," Adams said. "With this announcement, New York City is taking a stand, putting money back in the pockets of Black and Brown entrepreneurs, especially women of color."

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