HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania is ranked in the top 10 worst states for African Americans.
A study by 24/7 Wall Street suggests the state is the seventh worst in the nation in a couple of different ways. It reports more than 10 percent of African Americans in Pennsylvania are unemployed, and that’s double the white unemployment rate. Education was also a factor in the study.
Those in the community believe things can be done to lower the number.
David Williams is a former business owner and got his hair done Friday at GQ II Barbershop in Harrisburg.
“If you go out there and pursue what you want, you can do it,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of jobs out here. All these guys in here working at this barber shop went to school and got their license.”
Thanayi Ruth is a mother of four kids.
“Education is very important, and if I don’t see to it that they get that now, later on it will be hard, and they will not be able to compete for the jobs that whites or Asians will get,” Ruth said.
Stan Lawson is the president of the Greater Harrisburg NAACP.
“I heard some people call Pennsylvania the Alabama of the North,” Lawson said.
Lawson believes better education and higher-paying jobs will help solve the problem.
“A lot of our people work for minimum wage, and it need to be raised to about $15 an hour so they can keep up with the taxes and the cost of gasoline and food,” Lawson said.
Williams thinks part of the solution is being proactive.
“You have to go out there and get it. It’s not going to come to you,” Williams said. “If you sit back and wait for it to come to you, you’ll be waiting a long time. As a matter of fact, you’ll be on social security by the time it comes to you.”
The study did not include states where African Americans make up less than five percent of the population.
Click here for a list of the top 10 worst states for African Americans.