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17 March 2010

Tough Economy Hits Majority Black Hancock County Hardest

For the last thirteen months, the state unemployment rate has steadily increased from 8.4% in January 2009 to 10.4% one year later [SOURCE: Georgia Department of Labor]. In the black community, unemployment is nearly double the overall rate.

Wednesday, a Macon television station put a face to black unemployment. In majority black Hancock County, joblessness has skyrocketed to more than 20%.

According to the Georgia Department of Labor one middle Georgia county has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

The department tells NewsCentral, Hancock County has a current unemployment rate of 23.5 percent.

Smith, Celeste (2010-3-10). Hancock County Unemployment Rate Over 20%. WGXA-TV. Retrieved on 2010-3-17.

In 2000, Hancock County had a population of 10,076. 77.8 perecent of those people are black [SOURCE: U.S. Census Bureau], which means that the top issue in Hancock County is jobs and job creation.

The number one question blacks should be asking these candidates running office is how are they going to lower the African-American unemployment rate.

There are sixteen individuals hoping to succeed Sonny Perdue as Georgia's governor. The Republican candidates seem to be focused on taxes. The Democrats seem to be focused on ethics. I have yet to hear a single candidate --from either party-- focus solely on putting Georgians back to work.

It is time for black community leaders to send a message to Democrats and Republicans. Do not come asking for our endorsement unless you have a concrete plan to get black folks a job.

23.5 percent unemployment is unacceptable.