Workers raise awareness about high level of unemployment



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On a Saturday morning in South Los Angeles, construction workers gathered to help spruce up the Paul Robeson Community Center. They also wanted to raise awareness about the high level of unemployment, especially among black workers.

The Paul Robeson Center, known for its longstanding commitment to youth in the community, gave space to the Black Workers Center in Los Angeles, free of charge, in exchange for time to make much-needed upgrades to the community center.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas showed support for the day of service. He pledged he would help bring jobs to the community. There is more than $2 million in construction jobs that await Los Angeles County.

Of the nine percent of African-Americans who reside in Los Angeles County, about 30 percent are in low-wage jobs. Another 20 percent did not work last year.

The day was hot, but it also served as a reminder that there is a need for more jobs in Los Angeles.

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    The U.S. unemployment rate is expected to remain high through 2010 even though the rate dropped in October. The U.S. unemployment rate surprised a lot of experts when it fell from 10.2% in September to 10.0% in October. Another surprise was the fact that only 11,000 jobs were lost in October after many months of major job losses.

    When you include part time workers seeking full time employment and laid off workers who have given up looking for a job, the U.S. unemployment rate is actually much higher. That rate was 17.5% in September. It fell to 17.2% in October. The reduction in these rates is an encouraging sign that the labor markets and the economy are improving.
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