Unemployment Rates For Black Americans Fall As It Rises For Others

The fall in unemployment rates for Black Americans highlighted in April of this year is against the overall trend nationwide. According to new data released on May 3 by the Department of Labor, white Americans’ unemployment rates are slowly rising.

Although Black Americans still remain the racial group with the highest employment percentage in the U.S., with the number falling from 6.4% to 5.6% last month, unemployment is higher than the overall rate.

The data showed that the white Americans rate rose “higher to 3.5% from 3.4%” and “the jobless rate for Asian and Hispanic workers, respectively, rose to 2.8% from 2.5%, and to 4.8% from 4.5%.”

This is a notable difference in the Black trend, which has been steadily declining for the past few months of this year. 

Senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute Elise Gould said, “Luckily, for many reasons, that came down. I think that speaks to last month really just being a statistical blip that happens because of small sample sizes, and having that come down now for April is very promising.” 

“And you’re seeing that happen for Black men and Black women alike.”

Gould is hopeful about the trend but recommended continuing to monitor the unemployment rate because it has been volatile this year. It was rising four months in a row before April.

She described it as a “key indicator to watch since historically marginalized groups often feel the effects of a soft labor market first.” 

Gould continued to point out another rising trend found by the Department of Labor this year: this one for the employment rate of “prime-age workers,” or those from ages 25 to 54.

Despite all of the fluctuations, the overall labor force participation rate has kept steady at 62.7%. 

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