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Unemployment disparities and how it shapes policy

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Job seekers sit at computers looking for jobs available at a Workforce One Employment Solutions center on Jan. 7, 2014 in North Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Unemployment reached 4.9 percent in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That number translates to about 7.8 million people who are unemployed.

This rate rose for white workers, while there was little change for Black, Hispanic and Asian workers.

However, the unemployment rate for black people is still nearly double that of their white counterparts, at 8.6 and 4.4 percent respectively.

MPR News host Kerri Miller spoke with two scholars about the implications of this data economically and politically.

Harry Holzer is a public policy professor at Georgetown and former Chief Economist for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Lisa Cook is an associate professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University.