United for a Fair Economy is a national, independent, nonpartisan, non-profit organization. UFE raises awareness that concentrated wealth and power undermine the economy, corrupt democracy, deepen the racial divide, and tear communities apart. We support and help build social movements for greater equality. For the full version of this annual report on racially based economic disparity in the US, visit www.faireconomy.org  or www.economiajusta.org 
Many American Blacks today are already experiencing a silent economic depression that, in terms of unemployment, equals or exceeds the Great Depression of 1929. Almost 12% of Blacks are unemployed; this is expected to increase to nearly 20% by 2010. Among young Black males aged 16-19, the unemployment rate is 32.8%, while their white counterparts are at 18.3%. Overall, 24% of Blacks and 21% of Latinos are in poverty, versus 8% of whites.
In the corporate world, we are seeing the highest executive pay and the biggest bailouts in history. CEO pay is 344 times that of the average worker, not including perks like bonuses, stock options, corporate jets, and housing subsidies. The riches of the few mask the deepening recession in the working class and the depression in communities of color.
Extreme economic inequality (which the US experienced in the 1920s and is again experiencing now) is often a key indicator of recession and/or depression. The Black depression of today may well foreshadow the depth and length of the recession the whole country entered in December 2007.
Economically, Blacks and Latinos have suffered disproportionately because of structural racism and the web of policies that evolved from it. Eliminating the racial wealth divide is an essential step toward eliminating institutional racism. A comprehensive economic policy could deal a knockout blow to structural racism and raise awareness of individual racism. The path forward abounds with possibilities for shrinking the racial wealth divide and further healing the racism that still afflicts our nation.
State of the Dream 2009: The Silent Depression explains
the mechanisms that helped create the racialized economic depression,
explores how this crisis affects individuals and communities of
color, and proposes comprehensive policy solutions.