Black Unemployment Rate Nearly Lowest It's Been Since 2000

Michael W. Chapman | August 4, 2017 | 11:31am EDT
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( -- Although the national unemployment rate for July was 4.3%, the unemployment rate for black workers was nearly double that of white workers, but it was also at a rate for blacks not seen since December 2000, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

In addition, the June unemployment rate for blacks of 7.1% was nearly at a level only seen once in the last 45 years -- 7.0% in April 2000. 

In July 2017, the national unemployment rate specifically for white workers, 16 years and over, was 3.8%, the same as it was in June.

The national unemployment rate specifically for black workers, 16 years and over, was 7.4% in July, up from 7.1% in June. 

The black unemployment rate of 7.4% is nearly double that for whites, 3.8% (or double to 7.6%).

The lowest national unemployment rate for blacks since 1972 -- 45 years ago -- was 7.0% in April 2000, according to BLS data.  Thus, in nearly 50 years, the unemployment rate has not fallen below 7.0% for black workers.

However, the June 2017 rate of 7.1% almost matched that number. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, "Black or African American" people comprise 13.3% of the population. "White" people comprise 76.9% of the population. 

The chart below shows the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for black workers, by month, since 1972. (Data from the BLS.) 


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