Al Sharpton is not often taken very seriously outside his circle of MSNBC-watching fans, but this week he made at least one good point.
He blamed the high black unemployment rate on post-2009 cuts to government jobs, and he blamed Republicans for the cuts.
Sharpton's correct that government job rolls are occupied by black employees at a higher rate than whites. He's also correct that the black unemployment rate is much higher: it stood at 14.3% in October, compared to an overall rate of 7.9%.
He's also correct to suggest the government job losses are concentrated in red states. Since 2010, 70% of government job losses took place in just 12 red states that have Republican-controlled legislatures: Alabama, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. The other states shed far fewer government jobs, or even took on more workers, the Nation claims. Since 2009, 636,000 state and local government jobs have been cut nationwide.