According to CNN, while unemployment in the city spiked to 72 percent from the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, it surged to more than 160 percent in the black communities specifically. The unemployment rate increased 14.7 percent, rising four times the speed than any other ethnic group.
National figures, however, did not show such a crippling difference.
Comptroller William C. Thompson said the imbalance is cause by the astronomical number of blacks in the retail and service industries, which have been seen the worst of times resulting from the recession. He also blasted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the condition of the city's economy labeling him "out of touch." Thompson, a democrat, plans to run against Bloomberg, and independent, in the next mayoral race.
"I'm calling on the mayor to reconsider the raises he's agreed to shower on his top managers and nonunion employees," Thompson said. "To hand out these raises while on the other hand repeatedly calling for cuts to the rank-and-file is bad policy, it's bad government, and it is simply wrong."
Thompson said he was making reference to raises for the state's non-union employees who make more than $90,000 a year.
The comptroller's report predicts the city's unemployment rate could potentially reach 400,000 by 2010.
On a New York City block, Reverend Al Sharpton held his own news conference on July 13, calling for a city summit to address the unemployment gap.
"This is a crisis in the black community," Sharpton said at the steps of City Hall in lower Manhattan. "The numbers speak for themselves and the numbers are devastating.