New report shows Twin Cities black-white unemployment gap widest in the country

Anissa Stocks

The Twin Cities have the nation’s largest unemployment disparity rate between black and white people, according to MPRNews.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman joined a 20-member commission of community leaders and other elected officials Wednesday, pledging to reduce the gap.

Unemployment among blacks was 20.4 percent in 2010, the second highest in the country behind Detroit. 

The Pioneer Press reported that the commission hopes to reduce the 3-to-1 disparity gap by 20 percent each year through 2016.

Commission co-chair Butch Howard, who manages food service company HMSHOST in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, called some of the data “startling and disheartening.”

The 64-page report, put together by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Reducing Racial Employment Disparities, outlines a plan that includes more training, education and work-preparedness. It  also calls for employers to strengthen workplace preparation programs for students.

The commission recommends legislation that would prevent employers from rejecting job candidates based on their criminal backgrounds or credit scores.