(un)Fun with statistics: unemployment by race



And do we even HAVE comprehensive data on American Indian poverty? Cuz unemployment on reservations is basically the rule, not the exception.  I mean, it’s why they were even created in the first place…

(Bolding mine)

If you look it up you can find it, but you won’t find it on easy-to-find statistics pages like you will for the four races listed above. So no, it’s not comprehensive. Be prepared to search and search and search. Here’s a small sampling of what I was able to find after much searching.

According to the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development, unemployment on the Navajo Reservation was 43.3% in 1998. As reported in the 1990 Census, unemployment on the Navajo Reservation was 27.9%; in Arizona, the rate was 7.1%, and in New Mexico it was 7.9%. In Gallup, the unemployment rate for Indians was 12.0%; for all Gallup residents, it was 5.8%.

In the barren grasslands of Ziebach County, there’s almost nothing harder to find in winter than a job. This is America’s poorest county, where more than 60 percent of people live at or below the poverty line. At a time when the weak economy is squeezing communities across the nation, recently released census figures show that nowhere are the numbers as bad as here — a county with 2,500 residents, most of them Cheyenne River Sioux Indians living on a reservation. In the coldest months of the year, when seasonal construction work disappears and the South Dakota prairie freezes, unemployment among the Sioux can hit 90 percent.

In the 1990 U.S. Census, Indian residents made up 18.5 percent of the total population of Fremont County. The low income of households on the Wind River Indian Reservation meant that they contributed only 8.5 percent of the county’s total household income. In the 1990s, Fremont County has been one of Wyoming’s more economically depressed areas. Its 1989 per capita income was 80 percent of the state average. Fremont County consistently has the state’s highest rate of unemployment, much of which can be attributed to the exceedingly high unemployment of persons living on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

I’m willing to bet that with the current economy the unemployment rate has gone up. I’d actually be incredibly surprised if it hasn’t. (And please don’t try the whole ” but casinos!” argument. There are very few tribes that have an extremely successful casino.)

Thanks for finding all this! I was just copying from the data I was able to find, so there were definitely holes. Such as, yeah, none of the data included indigenous people.

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