Black Unemployment Rate Declined in August, Even as it Rose Across the Board

Black unemployment

In August, the unemployment rate for Black workers showed a promising decline, contrasting with the overall jobless rate trend. While the overall unemployment rate increased to 3.8%, the highest since February 2022, the rate for Black workers dropped to 5.3% from 5.8% in July. The labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people employed or seeking employment, reached 62.8%.

What Are the Challenges Facing Black Workers in the Unemployment Rate?

In August, its highest level since February 2020. This increase is noteworthy despite the overall rise in unemployment. Gender-Specific Black Employment Trends Analyzing gender-specific data among Black workers, the unemployment rate for Black men aged 20 and older decreased to 5%, down from July’s 5.3%, while Black women saw their jobless rate fall to 4.7% compared to the prior month’s 5.2%.

Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, expressed relief about the
decreasing Black unemployment rate and hopes it signals a positive trend.
Among Black workers, the labor force participation rate remained relatively steady, standing at 62.6%

In August, only slightly down from July’s 62.7%. Challenges for Asians and Hispanics Conversely, the unemployment rate increased for Asians, rising to 3.1% in August from 2.3% in July, and Hispanics saw their jobless rate rise to 4.9%, up from 4.4% a month earlier. It’s worth noting that racial and ethnic figures are based on smaller sample sizes, leading to potential significant volatility in these statistics from one month to the next.

Local Government Education

A potential area of concern emerged in the latest release, specifically concerning the state and local government education sector. Local government education payrolls fell by more than 10,000 in August, while state government education jobs dropped by nearly 5,000. Elise Gould expressed concern, particularly since this sector is a notable employer of Black workers and women, especially as students return to school this month.

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