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Black jobless rate often twice overall rate; National Urban League seeks to address it

- By Olivera Perkins, The Plain Dealer

Despite a slow descent in unemployment, the rate for African Americans remains the highest of any group, both in Ohio and nationally.

Average annual unemployment for black Ohioans reached a post-recession high of 17 percent in 2009 and 2011, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

For the population as a whole, average annual unemployment after the recession also peaked in 2009, but it was 10.3 percent. By 2011, it had fallen to 8.7 percent.

The National Urban League has picked Cleveland to launch a $100 million, five-year effort to address the situation.

Marc Morial, the organization's national president and CEO, is scheduled to kick off the Jobs Rebuild America campaign today at the Urban League of Greater Cleveland on Prospect Avenue, before rolling out the initiative in 50 communities.

"We want to showcase that in an environment with challenging unemployment, we're going in and we are making investments that are designed to create solutions," Morial said in an interview last week. "We're trying to help people focus on the fact that the nation does not have to sit on its hands when it comes to urban unemployment and black unemployment."

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