In an interview with Black Enterprise magazine, President Barack Obama blames state and local governments, as well as Congress, for over 14 percent black unemployment.
"Black unemployment still stands at nearly 14%. How do you communicate that the economy is headed in the right direction?," the editor in chief of Black Enterprise asks Obama.
"Most economists will tell you that there is no doubt the economy has gotten stronger, but we are digging ourselves out a deep hole. There are a lot more things we could be doing. To get them done, we need cooperation of Congress. We got the payroll tax portion of [my American Jobs Act] done, but what we didn’t get done is the assistance I was proposing to the states to help them hire back teachers, firefighters, and first responders, because one of the weakest parts of this recovery has been state and local government hiring," Obama responds.
"Given the weaknesses of the construction industry, the American Jobs Act proposed that we rebuild schools, roads, bridges, airport, and ports. That would provide small businesses with opportunities as contractors and vendors in this rebuilding process. Again, Congress needs to act."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black unemployment in the month of July was at 14.1 percent.
Additionally, Obama was asked, “How do you respond to criticism that your administration hasn’t done enough to support black businesses?”
The president responded: "My general view has been consistent throughout, which is that I want all businesses to succeed. I want all Americans to have opportunity. I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means, who have been in the past locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody. So, I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African American businesses."