Black unemployment rate hits a record low

The black unemployment rate fell to 5.9% in May - the lowest since the government started keeping track in 1972....

Posted: Jun 1, 2018 5:22 PM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 5:22 PM

The black unemployment rate fell to 5.9% in May - the lowest since the government started keeping track in 1972.

It's a notoriously volatile number, but the trend is clear: This economy is strong, and everyone is reaping the rewards.

"The jobs market is firing on all pistons. It is benefiting all workers," said Tony Bedikian, head of global markets at Citizens Bank. "There are more jobs to be had for all Americans."

As the overall unemployment rate continues to fall - the lowest since 2000 - it's also shrinking the gap between black and white unemployment. It is the narrowest on record.

Black unemployment dropped sharply last month, down from 6.6% in April. The gap between black and white unemployment shrank to 2.4 percentage points, the first time on record it's been less than 3 points.

The figures were part of a jobs report Friday that showed overall unemployment at 3.8%. That was a clear sign that the economy is strong - and that there are opportunities for just about everyone.

Unemployment for black Americans remains stubbornly higher than for white, Asian and Hispanic Americans. The unemployment rate is just 2.1% for Asian-Americans and 4.9% for people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.

Jobs data for black Americans also tends to be statistically more volatile than for white Americans because of a smaller population size. Still, the unemployment trends for black Americans are undeniably improving.

Black unemployment has fallen faster than white unemployment in the past year. A year ago, the black unemployment rate was 7.6%. For white Americans, unemployment has dropped from 3.7% a year ago to 3.5% in May.

"There is nothing not to like about this jobs report. It was strong across the board," said Hank Smith, co-chief investment officer at Haverford Trust.

The black unemployment rate hit a post-Great Recession peak of 16.8% in March 2010. (The highest on record was 21.2% in January 1983.)

Since then, unemployment has dropped steadily for all Americans.

Related: Unemployment rate matches lowest point in half a century

It's still harder for young black Americans, and black men specifically, to find work.

The unemployment rate for black teens is 19.8%. Although that's down from 26.5% a year ago, it's still substantially higher than the 11.6% unemployment rate for white teens.

And the unemployment rate for black men over the age of 20 is 6.3%, compared with just 4.7% for black adult women and 3.2% for white men over the age of 20.

So black unemployment is going in the right direction. But there's a long way to go before the job market is equally good for black and white.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 608519

Reported Deaths: 9693
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion840461335
Lake45349684
Allen32803548
Hamilton29394315
St. Joseph27380381
Elkhart24404345
Vanderburgh19411249
Tippecanoe17970138
Johnson15069295
Porter14783169
Hendricks14401248
Madison10965221
Vigo10726181
Clark10677144
Monroe9383110
Delaware9116134
LaPorte9065163
Howard8236144
Kosciusko806983
Warrick672999
Hancock6697104
Bartholomew6484100
Floyd6428110
Wayne6136162
Grant5991115
Dubois555579
Boone551168
Morgan541295
Henry507864
Marshall503984
Cass483263
Dearborn479845
Noble473059
Jackson425047
Shelby417581
Lawrence391079
Clinton373043
Gibson370359
Harrison348144
DeKalb347164
Montgomery345754
Knox335639
Miami321444
Steuben313745
Whitley307326
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Jefferson263338
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Fayette247148
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LaGrange228862
Scott225339
Clay222532
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Spencer191321
Washington186423
Fountain184027
Starke175443
Jay167623
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Fulton164030
Orange159534
Carroll158015
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Perry154229
Vermillion149134
Franklin148333
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Parke13078
Pike116926
Blackford111022
Pulaski97037
Newton90921
Brown88035
Benton86610
Crawford7999
Martin73713
Warren6817
Switzerland6615
Union6287
Ohio4907
Unassigned0376

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 859841

Reported Deaths: 10680
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin101171707
Cuyahoga855711125
Hamilton64017448
Montgomery43107418
Summit34836761
Lucas31350625
Butler30973232
Stark25786435
Warren19671140
Lorain19017223
Mahoning17321338
Lake16080154
Clermont15926111
Delaware1438878
Licking13204137
Trumbull12809316
Fairfield1279381
Greene12055137
Medina11591168
Clark10942265
Wood10348158
Allen9897126
Portage9296109
Miami916873
Richland9139118
Marion7459113
Tuscarawas7381182
Columbiana7327124
Pickaway726150
Wayne7034171
Muskingum703141
Erie6152129
Hancock552390
Ross548998
Scioto539164
Geauga508455
Darke470292
Ashtabula453073
Lawrence452654
Union451828
Sandusky436662
Mercer433589
Seneca430166
Huron428741
Auglaize422264
Shelby421222
Jefferson419269
Belmont416840
Washington388740
Athens38009
Putnam374975
Madison355129
Knox352622
Ashland344938
Fulton338443
Defiance330086
Crawford322374
Preble320637
Brown312921
Logan307332
Ottawa293943
Clinton290143
Williams278667
Highland275118
Jackson263845
Guernsey254125
Champaign252028
Fayette236530
Morrow23234
Perry231318
Holmes225474
Henry218749
Hardin213033
Coshocton205622
Van Wert202245
Gallia196726
Wyandot196051
Pike176217
Adams176115
Hocking172024
Carroll155616
Paulding144321
Noble120540
Meigs108624
Monroe100732
Harrison89121
Morgan83130
Vinton70213
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