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Black Unemployment in East St. Louis Highlights Disparities

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Published on Apr 29, 2010

PBS Newahour May 8, 2009
With millions of Americans losing their jobs in the current recession, African American unemployment is reaching record levels. In East St. Louis, Illinois, black unemployment is around 30 percent. Economics Correspondent Paul Solman drives the neglected streets to see how the city is coping.

He finds the Tomorrow's Builders YouthBuild Charter School where students have professional construction skills, but can't find a job because nothing is being built.

This video also introduces the concept of "social capital" connections between people that help them find jobs and achieve economic mobility.

"You've got to know somebody. If you don't know nobody, there ain't even no use to wasting your time, because that's what the world's about these days." - Joeshawn Williams, student

"You even have to get connections at McDonald's. I don't know why, but it's like that." - Antonio Rhodes, student

"I wish I could make a new world in which these kids didn't sit over on the dark side of the moon practically in terms of social connection, but there it is." - Glenn Loury, Brown University

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