Washington (CNN) - Members of the Congressional Black Caucus called on President Obama Friday to address the skyrocketing unemployment rate facing minorities - especially African-Americans and Latinos - and greater economic conditions plaguing low-income communities.
"Our job is to make sure the legislation that gets to the president's desk responds to the degradation and the crisis in our community," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, at a Friday news conference. "Our community is bleeding. And we are the worst hit."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in November 2009 for blacks is at 15.6 percent - and 12.7 percent for Hispanics. In comparison, the rate for whites is 9.3 percent.
The latest job numbers show that a drop in the U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 10.2 percent to 10 percent in November.
"Our Nation has suffered substantial unemployment and underemployment over a prolonged period, which has imposed significant economic and social costs, particularly in communities of color," the December 9 letter, from Chairwoman Barbara Lee and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver to Obama, stated. "We appreciate your attention to these prescriptive measures and look forward to working with you."