Fiscal Cliff to Hit Unemployed African Americans

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The nation's labor market would lose more than 400,000 jobs in 2013 if President Barack Obama and Congress fail to reach an agreement preventing unemployment-benefit extensions from expiring, reports the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. Federally funded unemployment benefits are scheduled to expire in December 2012.

Exhaustion of the benefits would have a devastating effect on unemployed African-American workers because they suffer from the highest jobless rate among all major worker groups, which include whites, Asians and Hispanics.

In October, the jobless rate for black men 20 years old and older was 14.1 percent, down slightly from 14.2 percent in September. The unemployment rate for black women in October was 12.4 percent, compared with 10.9 percent in September, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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