Are White Men this Recession’s Quiet Sufferers?

This week’s Newsweek coverage story “Can Manhood Survive the Recession?” paints a grim picture for educated, white men:

Through the first quarter of 2011, nearly 600,000 college-educated white men ages 35 to 64 were unemployed, according to previously unpublished Labor Department stats. That’s more than 5 percent jobless—double the group’s pre-recession rate. That might not sound bad compared with the plight of younger, less-educated workers and minorities, but it’s a historic change from the last recession, when about half as many lost their oxford shirts. The number of college-educated men unemployed for at least a year is five times higher today than after the dotcom bubble.

Flickr: Wirawat Lian-udom

White men are faring better than most in this recession.

If the idea is to have a competition over who has it the worst, the numbers make it quite clear: that’s one contest white men aren’t going to win. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate among whites was 8 percent in January — that’s almost half of what it was for blacks, 15.7 percent. Latinos didn’t fare well either with an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent.

Here in D.C., the unemployment rate citywide was 9.6 percent in January. In predominately black Wards 7 and 8, it ranged between 20 to 18 percent, and in predominately white Ward 3, it was 3.6 percent.

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