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As Public Sector Sheds Jobs, Blacks Are Hit Hardest


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New York Times:

Don Buckley lost his job driving a Chicago Transit Authority bus almost two years ago and has been looking for work ever since, even as other municipal bus drivers around the country are being laid off.

At 34, Mr. Buckley, his two daughters and his fiancée have moved into the basement of his mother’s house. He has had to delay his marriage, and his entire savings, $27,000, is gone. “I was the kind of person who put away for a rainy day,” he said recently. “It’s flooding now.”

Mr. Buckley is one of tens of thousands of once solidly middle-class African-American government workers — bus drivers in Chicago, police officers and firefighters in Cleveland, nurses and doctors in Florida — who have been laid off since the recession ended in June 2009. Such job losses have blunted gains made in employment and wealth during the previous decade and undermined the stability of neighborhoods where there are now fewer black professionals who own homes or who get up every morning to go to work. :snip:

Mr. Buckley, the unemployed Chicago bus driver who now lives in his mother’s basement, said his mother, a Postal Service employee, had grown tired of him “eating up all her food.”

“She’s ready for me to get up out of here,” he said. In the meantime, Mr. Buckley says his life has drifted into the tedium of looking for decent-paying jobs that do not exist.

“I was living the American dream — my version of the American dream,” he said of his $23.76-an-hour job. “Then it crumbled. They get you used to having things and then they take them away, and you realize how lucky you were.” :snip:

Part of the problem with government jobs, overpaying. $24 an hour to drive a bus?
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