Unemployment Among Blacks Higher than U.S. Average The rate of unemployment for African Americans is more than 10 percent -- much higher than for any other major ethnic group. Are unemployed blacks lacking the right skills? Are they living and looking in the wrong places? Do employers discriminate when hiring? NPR's Tavis Smiley speaks with Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and Bernard Anderson, who served as an assistant Labor secretary during the Clinton administration.