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March 30, 2015

New Jersey has had a harder time recovering from the Great Recession than many other states, so it should come as no surprise that the black unemployment rate in the state was 12 percent in 2014, the 15th worst in the country, according to the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute. White unemployment was 5.5 percent, the 13th worst in the country.

Nationally, the unemployment rate for African-Americans was 11.4 percent. Nationally, white unemployment was 4.9 percent. Hispanics fared somewhere in the middle, with a New Jersey unemployment rate of 7.6 percent, compared with a national rate of 7.4 percent. Asians saw an unemployment rate of 5 percent in New Jersey, compared with 4.9 percent nationally.

Clearly, unemployment impacts African-Americans and Latinos harder than whites and Asians both nationally and in New Jersey. But if there is any good news, it is that these rates, sad as they are, track the overall employment rate and New Jersey fares no worse in racially prejudiced statistics than other states. Unlike Wisconsin, which has a 4.3 percent white unemployment rate but 19.9 percent black unemployment rate and a 9.1 percent unemployment rate for Hispanics.

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