Blacks have the highest unemployment rate when compared to other subsets of the United States population. Black youths have the highest unemployment rates when compared to other racial subsets in the United States. These facts have been constant since the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began reporting this statistic in the early 1970s. In order to close the gap between the rate of unemployment of Black youths when to compared to other racial groups, many types of civic programs have been implemented from all levels of governments. None of these programs or efforts have reduced Black youths’ unemployment nor closed the gap in the unemployment rate between Black youths and other youths of other races. This dissertation explored an alternative that could reduce the unemployment levels of Black youths in the United States. This dissertation was conducted using a non-experimental design within quantitative research. The goal of this dissertation was to determine if Black youths can develop racially diverse online social networks with online social capital which in turn helps them find employment. The first outcome was that Black youths are capable of developing racially diverse online social networks and with the perception of online social capital. However, the second research question was not answered. While Black youth indicated they would ask someone of a different race online to help them find a job the majority did not use social media to find employment, nor did they ask a friend in their online social network to help them find employment. More studies need to be conducted to explore the capacity of online social networks and online social capital in helping Black youths find jobs. Lastly, more resources need to be allocated to educate and empower Black youths’ ability to use online social networks and online social capital.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

African Americans—Employment; Online social networks; Social capital (Sociology)

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Stephen Kirnon