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Could the Black Unemployment Rate be the Root Cause of Violent Crime in Chicago

The city of Chicago recorded 762 homicides in 2016 — an average of two murders per day, the most killings in the city for two decades and more than New York and Los Angeles combined.

The nation’s third largest city also saw 1,100 more shooting incidents than it did in 2015, according to statistics released by the Chicago Police Department that underlined a story of bloodshed that has put Chicago at the center of a national dialogue about gun violence. (Source: Chicago records 762 homicides in 2016, up 57 percent from previous year)

The below excerpt is from an article written January 25, 2016 it raises some interesting points about the relationship between joblessness and crime. (Source: Nearly half of young black men in Chicago out of work, out of school)

Nearly half of young black men in Chicago are neither in school nor working, a staggering statistic in a bleak new youth unemployment report that shows Chicago to be far worse off than its big-city peers.

The numbers for black men are far worse in Chicago and Illinois than elsewhere in the country. In Los Angeles and New York City, 31 percent of black 20- to 24-year-old men were out of school and out of work, in line with the national average of 32 percent.

Key Takeaways from the Report

  • Forty-seven percent of 20- to 24-year-old black men in Chicago, and 44 percent in Illinois, were out of school and out of work.
  • The connection between unemployment and Chicago’s racially segregated neighborhoods that also are home to high rates of poverty and crime.
  • The report shows the highest concentration of youth unemployment is in neighborhoods on the city’s South and West sides, especially Fuller Park, Englewood, East Garfield Park and North Lawndale, each of which is more than 90 percent black.
  • A study two years ago showed the measurable effect jobs have on curbing criminal behavior.
  • The University of Chicago Crime Lab found a 43 percent reduction in violent crime arrests for youths who secured eight-week-long part-time summer jobs with the program.
  • Declines in teen employment over the last decade have raised alarms because young people aren’t getting early experience that helps them secure better jobs and higher wages down the road.

What are your thoughts?

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Michael Bailey

Michael Bailey is the founder of The MinorityEye and serves as the Chief-Curator of Information. He leads the editorial staff and works as a multimedia journalist who specializes in producing news stories and personal profiles that highlight the cultural, social, economic, and political experiences of minorities living in South Carolina and beyond. His extensive media, business, and political background has made him a well-respected voice and an often sought-after commentator on issues impacting people of color.

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