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Presenting a thought-provoking take: The latest unemployment rate for Black Americans may have risen because of a recent rash of anti-DEI efforts, mainly from the education and corporate sectors.

According to a new report by Creative Investment Research, the higher jobless rate for Blacks nationwide in March 2024 potentially stems from specific incidents that accentuate the impact of anti-DEI measures on Black employment.

That analysis was provided to BLACK ENTERPRISE by William Michael Cunningham, an economist and the owner of Creative Investment Research in Washington, D.C. In his report, Cunningham explained that the unemployment rate for whites stayed relatively stable from January 2023 to March 2024, hitting between 3.1% and 3.5%.

For Blacks, he says the rate rose from 5.4% to 5.8% in November 2023 before falling to 5.2% in December 2023 but soared to 6.4% in March 2024.

Conversely, Cunningham noted the unemployment rate for Asians is lower among all groups. It was 3.5% in November 2023 compared to 2.5% in March 2024. For Hispanics, he noted the rate declined from 5% in December 2023 to 4.5%  by March 2024.

He stressed a reason for the rising unemployment rate for Blacks, along with the decrease and stability in rates for Whites, Asians, and Hispanics, is the preferential hiring of Asian and Hispanic individuals over Black individuals.

“We attribute this to systemic biases and to growing anti-Black hiring practices due, in part, to recent anti-DEI efforts,” Cunningham tells BLACK ENTERPRISE.

The University of Texas announced large job cuts targeting DEI, Cunningham says, which spurred the immediate loss of 100 positions, a move duplicated by educational institutions in many states.

At the same time, he says major companies, including Meta, Tesla, Door Dash, Lyft, Home Depot, Wayfair, and X, cut DEI team headcounts. Also, Google, Zoom, and Snap have either cut or outsourced their DEI efforts.

“These actions illustrate a direct correlation between the reduction of DEI roles and increased Black unemployment,” he says.

On a positive note, Cunningham says there has been an increase in the Black labor participation rate, meaning more Blacks are looking for work. He says that higher activity shows Blacks are still job hunting despite anti-DEI efforts.

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