Employment Situation Improves in October--Except for African Americans

Ali Meyer | November 7, 2014 | 10:07am EST
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(AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – The employment situation in October improved in every way for most Americans, except for African Americans, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The number of African Americans who were employed in the United States in October dropped by 41,000; and the number of African-Americans not participating in the labor force increased by 114,000.

However, the employment picture for all Americans aged 16 and older improved from September to October, as the overall unemployment rate declined from 5.9 percent to 5.8 percent, the number of employed increased from 146,600,000 to 147,283,000, and the number of unemployed decreased from 9,262,000 to 8,995,000.

The participation rate, which is the percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population who participated in the labor force by either having a job or actively seeking one, also increased from 62.7 percent to 62.8 percent for all Americans. Those not in the labor force, which are those who not only did not have a job, but they did not actively seek one in the last four weeks, declined from 92,584,000 to 92,378,000.

But for African Americans 16 years and older, some of those metrics worsened in October.

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The number of employed African Americans 16 years and older decreased by 41,000 to 16,940,000 in October from 16,981,000 in September.

The participation rate dipped to 61.4 percent in October from 61.7 percent in September. African Americans who did not have a job and did not actively seek one in the past four weeks increased by 114,000 to 11,964,000 in October from 11,850,000 in September.

The only two metrics that improved for African Americans were the unemployment rate, which decreased from 11.0 percent to 10.9 percent; and the number of the unemployed, which decreased from 2,100,000 to 2,065,000.

BLS employment statistics are based on the civilian noninstitutional population, which consists of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution such as a prison, mental hospital or nursing home.

In October, the civilian noninstitutional population for African Americans was 30,969,000 according to BLS. Of that 30,969,000, 19,005,000 -- or 61.4 percent -- participated in the labor force, meaning they either had or job or had actively sought one in the last four weeks.

Of the 19,005,000 who did participate in the labor force, 16,940,000 had a job and 2,065,000 did not have a job but actively sought one. The 2,065,000 are the unemployed. They equaled 10.9 percent of the labor force—or an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent. This unemployment rate is 87.9 percent higher than the unemployment rate of all Americans of 5.8 percent.

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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