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While America’s economic downturn has been devastating to the middle class as a whole, middle-class African-American government workers have suffered disproportionately in terms of layoffs and unemployment.

See also: First Black American Billionaire, Proposes Plan To Reduce Black Unemployment

About one in five black workers have public-sector jobs, and according to economists and recent government data, tens of thousand of middle-class African-American government workers,  have been laid off since the recession ended in June 2009.

Though the precise number of African-Americans who have lost public-sector jobs nationally since 2009 is unclear, observers say the current situation in Chicago is typical. There, nearly two-thirds of 212 city employees facing layoffs are black, according to theAmerican Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union.

Read more at the New York Times.