Obama smiling as unemployment drops

caines | 5/9/2013, 5:30 a.m.

In January 2008, 627,000 Americans on a weekly basis applied for unemployment benefits and the country was getting ready to crash. The economy was collapsing and the majority of the major industries in the country were bankrupted. The banking industry and Wall Street were losing billions of dollars a day, the unemployment rate was at double digits, and no one had an answer or a solution to this crisis. It is now 2013, President Obama has been in office for four years as the first Black president and the unemployment rate is at a four-year low. Businesses are hiring and the economy is improving. Wall Street has recently broken records and is experiencing its highest and best numbers ever. The real estate market is beginning to start building again and the values of homes are slowly increasing, after a major crash. At the start of the year, Republicans were predicting doom and gloom, and telling Americans that the economy would slow down in 2013. Some Republicans were predicting another recession because of the sequester cuts, and the tax increases that wealthy Americans were forced to pay. But the Republicans were wrong again and employers added a solid 165,000 jobs in April, and lowered the unemployment rate 0.4 percent to 7.5 percent. This was a stronger unemployment rate than the economist had predicted for April and the President is smiling. But while there is positive optimism in certain circles, no one can get overconfident with this economy. Without a doubt the economy is moving in the right direction, but it is still vulnerable to any major economic hiccups and any major international banking crashes. Whatever happens in the world impacts our country, because we cannot live on an island? The last time unemployment was lower than it is now was in December 2008, when it was 7.3 percent. As the Obama administration pats each other on the back, they know the unemployment number is still too high. There are still too many millions of Americans out of work and they will have to be retrained in the new technology economy. The biggest job gains in the country were in lower paying jobs and too many Americans are underemployed or must work two jobs. Many have just dropped out of the job market altogether. Prices continue to rise and a dollar does not go as far as it once did. Times are hard for Blacks for us the recession continues. Economists paint a rosy picture but jobs in our community are few and 50 percent of Black men are unemployed. The President may be smiling but he cannot afford to rest on his laurels. Blacks still need jobs. Roger Caldwell is the CEO of On Point Media Group in Orlando.