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New Report: Michigan Has Nation’s Third Highest Unemployment Rate for African Americans

At 15.8 percent, Michigan trails only Wisconsin and Nevada

LANSING – At 15.8 percent, Michigan had the nation’s third highest unemployment rate for African Americans in 2014, according to a new analysis from Economic Policy Institute economist Valerie Wilson. In Projected Decline in Unemployment in 2015 Won’t Lift Blacks Out of the Recession-carved Crater, Wilson uses a unique analysis of Current Population Survey data and Local Area Unemployment Statistics program data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate state unemployment rates by race and ethnicity in over 30 states.

In 2014, the annual black unemployment rate was highest in Wisconsin (19.9 percent), followed by Nevada (16.1 percent), Michigan (15.8 percent), and the District of Columbia (15.7 percent), out of 30 states for which data was available. Though black unemployment significantly declined in 15 states and the employment-to-population ratio increased in six states, African Americans have returned to pre-recession unemployment rates in just two states—Connecticut and South Carolina.

“The unemployment rate for African Americans in Michigan is at a crisis level,” said Karla Swift, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Instead of giving tax breaks to big corporations that send jobs overseas, we need our elected officials to implement targeted policies to ensure that everyone in Michigan who is willing and able to work has a job.”

Michigan’s black unemployment rate is over twice as high as the highest state white unemployment rate—which is 7.0 percent in Nevada—and is significantly higher than the national black unemployment rate of 11 percent.

Despite projections that the black unemployment rate will drop significantly by the end of 2015, African Americans in Michigan are still further from a full recovery than whites or Hispanics.

A copy of the EPI report can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/1CPDuyz

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Schuitmaker Bill Makes Workplaces Less Safe

Bill eliminates key safety protections following workplace injury, death

LANSING – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO strongly condemned new legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton) this month that would eliminate key safety protections for employees who are injured or killed on the job.

Senate Bill 213 weakens the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act by eliminating an important provision that requires employers to notify MIOSHA within eight hours of a workplace fatality, or any hospitalization of three or more employees suffering from a workplace-related accident, illness, or health hazard.

“This bill will make Michigan’s workplaces less safe, there’s no doubt about it,” said Karla Swift, president of the Michigan AFL-CIO. “Sen. Schuitmaker’s bill would give employers a free pass when their workers are killed or hurt on the job. It means an employer would never have to report a workplace-related death to MIOSHA, making it virtually impossible to hold them accountable for negligence or unsafe working conditions. The Michigan AFL-CIO is strongly urging the Senate Commerce Committee to reject this dangerous legislation.”

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Michigan AFL-CIO Endorses Safe Roads Yes Campaign

Proposal will create good jobs, make Michigan roads safer

LANSING – Today the Michigan AFL-CIO announced that it is formally endorsing the Safe Roads Yes campaign. In a column published in The Detroit News, Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift explained that Proposal 1 “is a critical initiative that will make our roads safer and create thousands of good middle class jobs for Michigan families.”

This afternoon President Swift and John Karebian, Executive Director of the Michigan Nurses Association, met with Governor Snyder about the proposal.

“Today we had a productive meeting with Governor Snyder about why the Michigan AFL-CIO is supporting the the Safe Roads Yes campaign,” said Swift. “While we haven’t always agreed with the governor’s administration, this is an issue where it’s easy to find common ground, because our affiliates believe everyone benefits from safer roads. Moving forward, the Michigan AFL-CIO will work to educate voters across the state about why they should vote Yes on Proposal 1.”

A full copy of President Swift’s column on Proposal 1 can be viewed here.

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Solidarity with Wisconsin Workers – Phone Bank

Our Brothers and Sisters in Wisconsin are still fighting the good fight.  RTW legislation has passed through the Wisconsin Senate, but we continue to stand in solidarity as it now moves on to the Wisconsin Assembly.  Assembly Democrats are “Ready for this fight,”  and once again, this week we’ll be supporting the efforts of our labor allies by joining fellow activists across the country to place calls to Wisconsin voters around this harmful legislation.

We will be calling Monday and Wednesday from 4pm – 7pm. If you are available for any period of time during those hours, you can RSVP  for the Capital Area phone bank by calling or emailing Micheal Davis with dates and times that work for you to support these efforts.


Email: mdavis@miaflcio.org

Phone: 734-707-8969

Here is a shareable event link with full logistics: http://miaflcio.org/event/solidarity-with-wisconsin-workers/?instance_id=4197

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