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00:00:00
>> We had the lowest African American unemployment rate in the history of our country.>>
APPLAUSE
>> It's a favorite applause line for President Donald Trump. And at 5.9% unemployment for Black Americans is the lowest since it was first tracked in 1972. A trend that first took shape under President Obama.
00:00:21
But behind the encouraging number, a more complicated reality. Reporter Howard Schneider looked at the job picture in Black majority Memphis, Tennessee. Seeing a boom in e-commerce and warehousing, but still among the poorest cities in the country.>> Folks I talk to in Memphis, very happy that things are on the upswing.
00:00:41
What they're worried about is how long this is gonna last. And how quickly they may find themselves regressing if the cycle turns sour. A lot of this profound job growth has been clustered in industries like food service, hospitality, accommodations, transportation, logistics, more susceptible to shedding jobs in a downturn.
00:01:01
>> So far, that doesn't seem to be denting optimism in Memphis, best known for Graceland and the vibrant blues scene.
00:01:08
MUSIC]
00:01:10
Shipping giant FedEx has its global headquarters here, prompting others such as Amazon to move in, bringing a wave of new jobs. Tiffany Jones works for The Family Stability Initiative, a Memphis nonprofit.>> There are definitely greater opportunities, even today, than there was five years ago.>> Schneider says the priority now is on building up defenses against the next downturn.
00:01:33
>> You talk to employment agencies, social service groups, they tell you this is all about keeping this going for a few more years so that people can recession proof themselves. So that the person who gets the entry-level job, finally gets a foothold in the labor market, has a few years to build up seniority.
00:01:48
So that when the downturn comes, they're not the first one out the door because they've been there, had time to prove themselves and develop skills.>> The focus no longer just on finding jobs, but on climbing the ladder.