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Black Americans talk of pain, uncertainty with soaring jobless rates due to COVID-19

Victor Patterson, a human resources executive who moved from Chicago to Atlanta, thought his six-month job search had ended, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

“I was positioned to receive a job offer in late February/early March,” he said. “As the virus anchored itself in America, the position was postponed or put on hold with projected ‘new’ dates when an offer and hire date would occur. At this point, it has not materialized.”

Patterson, 51, is not alone.

Victor Patterson (Courtesy Victor Patterson)
Victor Patterson (Courtesy Victor Patterson)

More than 43 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, according to government figures, and African Americans are disproportionately affected by the sudden economic collapse.

There are more people searching for fewer jobs. “The talent pool has increased and this adds another challenge for candidates who were looking prior to COVID-19,” Patterson said, referring to the disease caused by the coronavirus.

According to statistics from the Department

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