The Center for Economic and Policy Research: Full Employment for All

Note from the CREDO team: This July, Center for Economic and Policy Research is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will help fund CEPR’s Full Employment For All campaign, by  lifting demands made 60 years ago at the March for Jobs and Freedom to push Congress to fix the nation’s chronic joblessness problem through a national subsidized jobs program.

Read this important blog post about CEPR’s critical work, then click here to visit to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this July.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research is excited to be a CREDO July 2023 grantee, and we are so grateful to all CREDO members! In the past, your generous support has allowed us to ramp up our fight for economic justice, both in the US and abroad, and we can’t wait to do it again.

This year, CREDO members will help fund CEPR’s Full Employment For All campaign. We are commemorating the August 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom by pushing for Congress to address the joblessness in the country’s “forgotten places” (to paraphrase President Biden). The historically low national unemployment rate is worth celebrating, but it is important to remember that not everywhere is actually experiencing low unemployment. For example, in the first quarter of this year, in Yuma, Arizona, the unemployment rate was 8.5 percent – more than twice the national rate. And for many parts of the country, the reality is even harsher. The unemployment rate was 9.3 percent in Calhoun County, West Virginia, nearly 11 percent in Flint, Michigan and 13.2 percent in the Kusilvak Census Area in Alaska. In Reedley, California the unemployment rate  is nearly a whopping 20 percent. We have a lot of work to do.

CEPR’s Director of Race and Economic Justice, Dr. Algernon Austin, is helping to spearhead the effort of a broad coalition of social and economic justice and grassroots advocacy organizations committed to finally actualizing the powerful economic agenda set by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders. The coalition is calling for a national subsidized employment program targeted to high-unemployment areas so that we can achieve full employment for all.

Algernon’s research has revealed that the country has made ZERO progress over the last 60 years in breaking the two-to-one, Black-to-White unemployment-rate ratio. The Black unemployment rate continues to be roughly twice the White unemployment rate, and therefore Black America never truly experiences low unemployment. A targeted subsidized employment program would help us make serious gains in securing full employment for all.

In fact, a targeted jobs program would help all communities, regardless of race, that face persistently high rates of joblessness. While the problem is most acute for the Black and Native American populations, communities facing disproportionately low employment can be found in all states and among all races, including in White rural communities. With this understanding, CEPR is building a multiracial, class-diverse coalition to address the complexities of this enduring, yet underreported, economic crisis. 

It is unconscionable that such little progress had been made in the 60 YEARS since Dr. King brought this issue to Congress’ doorstep. At CEPR, we know that economic and racial justice are inextricably linked. We believe in a country where there is full employment for all – not just low unemployment for some. CREDO members can help us force Congress to finally do their jobs and right this wrong. Together, we will work to  achieve what Dr. King set out to do 60 years ago.