For African Americans, a college degree is no protection against unemployment.

According to the latest federal data, college-educated blacks were unemployed at twice the rate of their white counterparts. In March, 7.2 percent of college-educated blacks were out of work, compared with 3.8 percent of whites. Asians and Hispanics with college degrees fell somewhere in the middle.

Algernon Austin, a researcher with the Economic Policy Institute, analyzed the numbers and concluded this:

Some argue that the problem of joblessness among African Americans can be solved by education alone, but at every education level the unemployment rate for blacks exceeds that of whites. The disparities among the college-educated and other evidence strongly suggest that even if the black educational attainment distribution was exactly the same as the white distribution, blacks would still have a higher unemployment rate than whites. Without a renewed commitment to anti-discrimination in employment and job creation in black communities, high rates of black joblessness will likely persist.

One possible explanation for the disparity is that African Americans tend to live in cities hit hardest by the recession.

The Labor Department will release April employment numbers on Friday.

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