WASHINGTON, D.C. – With urban and minority communities mired in economic uncertainty, the National Urban League (NUL) declared “war on unemployment” with the recent release of the “2011 State of Black America” report.

“Our nation has declared war on poverty…war on drugs…even war on obesity,” said NUL President and CEO Marc H. Morial in a prepared statement. “The National Urban League calls on Washington to declare war on unemployment, and urban America is the battlefront. As urban communities go, so goes America, and unless those communities have access to jobs and are fully prepared to excel and innovate in those jobs, the nation’s economic recovery is meaningless.”

“The State of Black America,” issued annually by the National Urban League since 1976, centers on an Equality Index, which ranks Blacks and Latinos against White Americans on issues such as income, homeownership, health insurance and education. This year’s Equality Index of Black America stands at 71.5 percent a 0.6 percent decline from last year.

The Equality Index of Latino America, included for the second time this year, stands at 76.8, compared to a 2010 index of 76.6 percent.

The report was released at a town hall event at Howard University and moderated by award-winning journalists Roland Martin and Jeff Johnson.