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Chelsea Whittington, Sr. External Affairs Manager
(773) 451-3524



Chicago Falls in Rankings for Unemployment and Annual Income

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The National Urban League (NUL) released its highly-anticipated 2017 edition of its annual report, The State of Black America during a live webcast from its D.C. office.

This year’s report, “Protect Our Progress,” examines recent advancements job creation, living wages, voting rights, criminal justice reform, education, health care, and financial literacy, and the current threats to those advancements. The presentation includes the National Urban League’s bold and comprehensive plan to accelerate economic development and combat social inequity, The Main Street Marshall Plan: From Poverty To Prosperity.

The centerpiece of The State of Black America is the Equality Index™, the most critical and respected tool for tracking racial equality in America. The Equality Index includes a metropolitan section, which ranks approximately 80 U.S. cities from most-to-least equal in employment and income and provides a revealing look into the few who are reaping rewards of economic recovery and the majority who are still trying to catch up.

Of the 80 major cities highlighted in the report, Chicago fell two slots from last year ranking 67 with a Black unemployment rate nearly four times that of whites. In the area of income, Chicago fell five slots to 67 with average earnings equaling 45 percent less than whites.

Included in the “Solutions Circle” section of the report is an essay on youth joblessness penned by Chicago Urban League President and CEO Shari Runner, who commented on the release of findings as they pertain to Chicago.

“Today’s report reiterates that African Americans in Chicago are being impacted more harshly in the areas of jobs, education, fair housing and healthcare — all of the foundations of what it means to lead a productive life,” said Runner. “Conversations on race and equity must continue because blatant displays of injustice and inequality have become commonplace and eerily acceptable.”

The National Urban League “2017 State of Black America Townhall” will air on TV One May 31st. A student from the Chicago Urban League’s Project Ready High School Program will be highlighted.


To arrange interviews with Shari Runner, email

About the Chicago Urban League

Established in 1916, the Chicago Urban League works for economic, educational and social progress for African Americans and promotes strong sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration and innovation. For more information, visit Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.