WASHINGTON—Joining the ranks of the unemployed at a time when joblessness remains stubbornly high among African Americans, 55-year-old local black man Barack Obama has lost the full-time job he has held for the past eight years, sources confirmed Friday.
A father of two and his family’s sole breadwinner for much of the past decade, the dismissed African-American employee was reportedly instructed to vacate his workplace by the end of the week, after which he will no longer be on his employer’s payroll.
“Minorities continue to face challenges in the job market even when they possess extensive qualifications and experience,” said Gerald Harmon, chief economist with the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. “While the U.S. economy has enjoyed a record 75 months of continuous job growth, the grim reality for Mr. Obama is that the unemployment rate among black Americans continues to hover at around 8 percent.”
“We’ve seen tremendous gains since the labor market bottomed out seven years ago, but unfortunately for this man, and many other people of color, we still have a long way to go,” he continued.
According to sources, the local black resident has cycled through at least three different occupations since turning 40, and was in serious danger of losing his job four years ago. Reports indicate that after taking the position in 2009, he faced daily antagonism from his mostly white colleagues, who reportedly never stopped questioning his qualifications and competence, a situation that is said to have made it difficult for him to perform the duties assigned to him.
As such, sources asserted that the man faced greater challenges in the workplace than a white person with the same job would have, and had to work much harder to achieve even the smallest amount of respect. Acquaintances noted the working conditions soon began to take a visible toll on his health.
“What makes his circumstance even more tragic is that the job he had wasn’t even that great to begin with,” said Harmon, citing the long hours, difficulty of tasks, and toxic work environment that characterized Obama’s former position. “It was better than nothing, sure, but we’re talking about some really grueling and thankless work here.”
Harmon added, “His position was emblematic of the kinds of high-stress, low-reward jobs that African Americans are often relegated to in our economy.”
Because he obtained healthcare through his employer, Obama will now have to purchase insurance to cover his family’s medical expenses, which experts said is an option that will soon become exceedingly expensive if lawmakers vote to do away with the few affordable plans currently available to individual consumers.
In another devastating blow, the family is reportedly expected to lose their home.
“Even though everyone in the Obama family is out of a job, it sounds like they’re going to stick around the neighborhood and try to make things work,” Harmon said. “But it wouldn’t be surprising if we eventually see them wind up like millions of others, particularly fellow minorities, who find themselves in the same position: moving back to their hometown, where they have relatives and friends they can lean on.”
“Regardless, the employment outlook isn’t bright for an older person of color with Obama’s work history,” he added. “At his age, someone like him might just while away his remaining years moving between various part-time positions and focusing on his own personal hobbies. It’s unlikely he’ll ever land a job as steady or as meaningful as the one he was just let go from. Unfortunately for him and so many others, that’s just the sad reality of the situation.”