Even as Connecticut's economy recovers at a slow to moderate pace, recent research by DataCore Partners and the national Employment Policies Institute (EPI) highlights a serious concern about employment.

Inner-city employment is still in crisis.

Two key indicators DataCore highlights are U-3 unemployment (the standard measure, which looks only at those actively seeking work) and U-6 (which also tracks discouraged workers who have stopped seeking work, as well as part-timers who want full-time jobs).

U-3 statistics, which put unemployment at 6.3%, mask a bigger problem: U-6 unemployment is nearly double that.

In the major cities, the situation is much worse. U-3 data for the five major cities of Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, and New Britain reveal 5,700 more unemployed, up 35% over where we were in the early stages of the recession, according to DataCore.

The problem isn't limited to Connecticut either. EPI found an astonishing 51% rate of underemployment among African-American high school graduates nationwide, and 23% among African-American college grads. Among Hispanics, 34% of high school graduates and 22% of college grads underemployed.

This is the real social crisis in America, and especially in our urban areas.

We need to produce policies (including budget and tax policies) that encourage investment and job creation by private-sector companies.

The best social program is a good job.