During Thursday night’s last debate between Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, Trump once again boasted of being the best black American president since Abraham Lincoln.
But has the Trump administration actually improved the lives of black people?
While Trump generally boasts that African Americans have reached historically low unemployment rates under his leadership, their unemployment rate has soared during the economic downturn linked to COVID-19 and remains close to double that of whites.
Homeownership rates for African Americans continue to track those of other groups significantly. And black women have less savings to get through the lean times
Here’s how black Americans fare by comparing some markers of financial stability and success.
Three years after the start of the Trump administration, African Americans experienced a record unemployment rate of 5.4% in August 2019. But the economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out millions of jobs and reversed this historic decline.
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In September, 12.1% of black Americans were unemployed, compared to 7% of whites, 10.3% of Latinos and 9.9% of Asians.
Additionally, the job gains that black Americans experienced prior to the economic downturn were often in low-wage paid positions, making it more difficult to build up the savings and benefits needed to stay afloat during periods of time. difficult.
Owning a home is an essential part of wealth, providing equity that can help pay for college, start a business, or give future generations a head start.
But a history of racist policies – from redlining, which prevented African Americans from obtaining loans, to restrictive covenants confining many black Americans to overcrowded and underserved neighborhoods – has hampered their ability to buy and hold property. .
Homeownership for black Americans has increased slightly this year, but still lags significantly behind whites. The national homeownership rate for white households was 73.7% in the first three months of the year, up from 73.2% during this period in 2019 according to an analysis of census data by the real estate broker. Redfin.
But only 44% of black households owned a home in the first quarter, up from 41.1% in 2019.
This homeownership divide has contributed to a large gap in the net worth of black families compared to white families.
In 2016, the net worth of white families was $ 171,000, compared to $ 17,150 for black families, according to the Brookings Institution.
Black women, who like many of their peers are often the breadwinners, struggle to cover basic necessities during the pandemic, with 48% saying they are unable to pay for necessities like food and accommodation, according to a survey commissioned by the Time’s Up Foundation conducted by the firm PerryUndem.
Many have also been unable to build a financial cushion, with 55% of black women saying they have less than $ 200 in savings.
Trump often refers to the stock market boom as proof that the economy remains strong even in relatively high unemployment.
But black households are less invested in the stock market than their white counterparts.
Only 33.5% of black households owned stocks last year, according to Federal Reserve data. Meanwhile, nearly 61% of white households participated in the stock market.
Black Americans may have less money to invest in stocks, experts say, and centuries of discrimination have made some wary of assets that aren’t more tangible.
Contributor: Associated Press
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