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17 March 2010

African-American Job Creation Should Be Issue One For Democratic Candidates

Earlier today, I highlighted the abysmal unemployment rate in Hancock County --23.5% as of January-- and spoke of the need for both parties to focus on job creation in the black community.

While I wrote that post, I became curious as to how many other counties in Georgia were like Hancock. I wanted to know how many counties were majority black, and what the unemployment rate was in each of those places. After gathering numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the state Department of Labor, I had my answer.

A total of twenty Georgia counties have a majority black population. In all but five of those counties, the unemployment rate exceeds the state level. The highest percentage of unemployed came from Hancock County followed by Warren, Washington, Taliaferro and Jefferson counties.

This should matter to the Democratic Party of Georgia, and any candidate running statewide in the Democratic primary, because collectively these twenty counties account for a quarter of the vote in the Democratic primary. Below is a stat sheet backing up that claim:

I am willing to bet that if you ask the voters in these twenty counties what their number one issue is, they will say job creation. Any candidate running in the Democratic primary, especially those candidates for governor, should recognize that the nomination will be won or lost in these twenty counties.

So, Thurbert Baker, Roy Barnes, Carl Camon, DuBose Porter, David Poythress, what's the plan? What is your plan to lower unemployment and create jobs in these twenty battleground counties?

Your candidacy literally depends on your answer to that question.