port of harlem magazine

January 11 - January 24, 2008


Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.

Census Report: Reasons Black People Do Not Work

Help WantedThe U.S. Census Bureau released results of a survey revealing who nonworkers are and why they do not work. The Bureau collected the data in response to the question: "What is the main reason [you] did not work at a job or business [in the last four months]."

 Interviewers ask this question to people of all racial groups. The reports shows that the majority Black people (36.7 percent) reported not working due to chronic illness or a disability. "This is consistent with the rates of chronic illness and severe disability among Blacks in general," states the report's authors. 

The majority of non-Blacks had other reasons for not working. One in four (25 percent) of Whites who are not also Hispanic and the majority of Hispanics (40 percent), who were not working, say they could not work because they were taking care of children or others.  The full report provides statistics by reasons and age, martial status, and other variables. Click here for the full report.

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