black workers center
File photo: LA Black Worker Center

Widening inequality, rising housing costs and a lack of opportunity have led to a critical shortage of jobs in the black community that has hit the crisis level, according to a new study from researchers at UCLA.

The study was conducted by the UCLA Labor Center and the Los Angeles Black Worker Center.

Among the study’s findings:

— Economic hardships are pushing black residents out of the area. Since the 1980s the black population in Los Angeles County has declined by about 100,000. At the same time the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties) has gained some 250,000 black residents.

— Black people in L.A. County are more educated than ever before, yet they experience lower labor participation rates than other groups.

— Black workers earn about 75 percent of what white workers earn on average. The gap is even higher for black women.

The findings will be discussed Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at Holman United Methodist Church at 3320 W. Adams Blvd., where several community leaders are scheduled to attend.

The study, titled “Ready to Work, Uprooting Inequity: Black Workers in Los Angeles County,” will be posted online Tuesday morning at

The Black Worker Center was launched in 2010 in an effort to reverse the historically disproportionate levels of unemployment in the Los Angeles African-American community.

–City News Service

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