>> We had the lowest African American unemployment rate in the history of our country.>>
>> 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.
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.
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.
>> So far, that doesn't seem to be denting optimism in Memphis, best known for Graceland and the vibrant blues scene.
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.
>> 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.
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.