The BLS release its report titled THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — AUGUST 2022. The U.S. economy added 315,000 jobs. Unemployment rose to 3.7%, primarily because the labor force grew. It is a testament to the remarkable strength of the American economy and its job creation. As a matter of fast, based on other government data, employers continue to be starved for new workers. In short, the economy has regained all the jobs it lost during the pandemic and employment levels are the same as in February 2020.
The data released includes data by race and gender. Every month, the percentage of white people who have jobs is well below the figure for Black Americans. In August, the jobless rate among all men was 3.5%. Among women, the figure was 3.3%.The white jobless rate was 3.2%. Among Asians, the figure was 2.8% and among Hispanics, the number was 4.5%. Among blacks people, the figure was 6.8%, double the number for whites. The black rate is double the one for white Americans.
The reasons black Americans have higher jobless rates than whites fall into several categories. The Economic Policy Institute reports that among the primary reasons are “racism” and single adult households where one person tries to care for children and hold a full-time job at the same time.
The American Progressive reports that the spread between black and white jobless rates goes back to 1972 when the BLS started to gather monthly employment data. It gives incarceration, the rate of which is higher among blacks than whites, as another reason. “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 both high school and college at a higher rate than black people.
None of these reasons can be taken alone, according to many experts. They represent a web of problems black Americans face as they try to enter the workforce. One thing almost all experts agree on is that problems will not go away.
A study done by 24/7 Wall St. last year shows the deep problems can be further explained at the city level. Among the worst cities for Black Americans: “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.
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