What the American Jobs Act Means for African-American Families

With unemployment among African Americans at an alarmingly high rate of 16.7 percent and 1.4 million African Americans out of work for more than six months, President Obama believes that inaction is not an option. That's why he's put out a plan to increase the pace of job creation, and why he's calling on Congress to act on it. These measures will expand opportunities for unemployed Americans to re-enter the workforce, provide hiring incentives to businesses, make investments in revitalizing schools, infrastructure, and neighborhoods, and help create new job opportunities in African-American communities across the country.

What the American Jobs Act Will Do

  • Help African-American families keep more of what they earn: The plan offers an extension and expansion of the payroll tax cut that will benefit nearly 20 million African-American workers. A household with $38,000 in income would typically pay about $2,350 in Social Security taxes. By expanding the payroll tax cut, that household will pay $1,100 less.
  • Offer aid to African Americans looking for work: The plan will extend unemployment insurance to benefit 1.4 million African Americans and their families. As these families continue to receive unemployment benefits, the President's proposed reforms will ensure that the program is better tailored to help people who have been looking for work for more than six months get back on their feet and get back to work.
  • Create job opportunities for young African Americans: President Obama is proposing support for subsidized jobs and work initiatives for African-American youth, for whom unemployment is above 30 percent. The new initiatives will build on successful programs like the TANF Emergency Fund to create jobs and provide training for those hardest hit by the recession.
  • Rebuild and revitalize communities: The plan includes targeted investments to rebuild communities affected most severely by the recession. Initiatives will include school construction with a significant commitment to the largest urban school districts and investments in revitalizing communities that have been devastated by foreclosures.

Like all of the measures in the American Jobs Act, these initiatives will be fully paid for as part of the President's long-term deficit reduction plan. The President's detailed deficit reduction plan will pay for every penny of the American Jobs Act.