The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its report on THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MAY 2023, revealing strong figures. The economy added 339,000 jobs, surpassing expectations. However, unemployment rates still vary significantly based on gender and race. Notably, the jobless rate for black individuals was 70% higher than that for white people.
Looking at different demographic categories, the jobless rate for adult women was 3.3%, while it stood at 5.6% for blacks. Among adult men, the rate was 3.5%, and for teenagers, it was 10.3%. Whites had a jobless rate of 3.3%, Asians 2.9%, and Hispanics 4.0%.
Several factors contribute to the higher jobless rates among black Americans compared to whites. Racism and single-adult households, where one person must balance childcare and full-time employment, are among the primary reasons, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
The American Progressive reports that the disparity between black and white jobless rates dates back to 1972 when the BLS started gathering monthly employment data. As another reason, it gives incarceration. “Mass incarceration plays a significant role in the lower labor force participation rate for African American men.” Educational attainment is another reason. Whites tend to graduate from high school and college at a higher rate than black people.
Experts emphasize that these reasons are interconnected, forming a complex set of challenges that black Americans face when entering the workforce. It is widely agreed upon that these issues cannot be easily resolved.
A study by 24/7 Wall St. further delves into the problem at the city level, revealing cities where Black Americans encounter significant difficulties. “Black residents in these metro areas are much less likely to hold a high school diploma or college degree than white residents. Lower levels of high school attainment can drive down wages and make it more difficult to find a job.” Based on all these factors, the gulf between Black unemployment and white is unlikely to change. (These are the worst states for black Americans.)
Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor
Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.