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Study: Black Men’s Wellbeing Is Worsened by Unemployment

Study: Black Men’s Wellbeing Is Worsened by Unemployment

Reported by Maria Lloyd 

For centuries, Black Americans have been the primary target of some of the most egregious atrocities committed in the history of the United States, but somehow the dominant culture has expected this generationally oppressed population to compete at the same level as the generationally privileged… Until now.

With the frequent reporting of Black men being slaughtered by law enforcement, the dominant culture has taken a keen interest in placing a microscope on the lives of Black Americans — and the results of their research are staggering.

In a recent study conducted by Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, unemployment negatively affects well-being more for young Black males than their non-Black counterparts. The results are based on over 33,000 interviews with American men aged 18 to 34, from Jan. 2 to Dec. 30, 2014. Among the aforementioned interviewees, 458 were unemployed Black men aged 18 to 34 and another 3,030 interviewees were employed Black men aged 18 to 34.

Researchers noticed that the well-being gap widened even more for unemployed Black men in the community component, which is one of five elements of well-being. Gallup and Healthways define community well-being through several individual metrics, including those that measure liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community. The research participants are categorized as thriving, struggling or suffering, based on their respective levels of well-being.

Although the percentage of people categorized as “suffering” in the community well-being dimension jumps for all adults when unemployed, Gallup reports that the increase is particularly great among young Black men, increasing from an already astonishing 25.9% when employed to 43.4% when unemployed. Among non-black males aged 18 to 34, the percentage who are suffering also increases with unemployment, but more modestly than is seen among blacks, from 16.6% to 25.0%.

In light of the Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York City protests, the results of this study may provide some insight as to why young Black male protestors may decide to destroy businesses in the community.


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