Black Unemployment 94% Higher Than White

Douglas A. McIntyre

Almost all the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics July Employment Situation was good. The economy added 157,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.9%. Not all groups did equally well. The unemployment rate for whites was 3.4%. For blacks, it was 6.6%, or 94% higher.

The unemployment rate among blacks has not wavered much since earlier in the year. The number was 6.9% in March.

The BLS stats for July:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 157,000 in July, and the unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, in manufacturing, and in health care and social assistance.

Household Survey Data

In July, the unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point to 3.9 percent, following an
increase in June. The number of unemployed persons declined by 284,000 to 6.3 million in July.
Both measures were down over the year, by 0.4 percentage point and 676,000, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent) and Whites
(3.4 percent) declined in July. The jobless rates for adult women (3.7 percent), teenagers
(13.1 percent), Blacks (6.6 percent), Asians (3.1 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent) showed
little or no change over the month.

Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the labor force decreased by 287,000 in July
to 1.8 million, following an increase in June. (Reentrants are persons who previously worked
but were not in the labor force prior to beginning their job search.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially
unchanged at 1.4 million in July and accounted for 22.7 percent of the unemployed.