Black Unemployment Rate Nearly Lowest It's Been Since 2000

By Michael W. Chapman | August 4, 2017 | 11:31 AM EDT




( -- 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.) 


Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman

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