African American Unemployment

Black Unemployment Rate October 2019: 5.4%
down from September (5.5%). U.S. unemployment rate: 3.6%

below content by Shandira Pavelcik (2012)

Unemployment lowers, but what does that mean for the Black Community?

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 146,000 in November (2012), and the unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent (12 million persons), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Dec. 7th. The rate, however, is not accounting for the 2.5M persons marginally attached to the labor force, or looked for work, wanted and were available for work sometime in the last 12 months, but had not looked for work in the previous 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Black Unemplyment Rate 2011 – 2012
SURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Neither does it count the number of long-term (27 weeks or more) that were unemployed, counting for 40% of the unemployed, known as the discouraged workers, that “are not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them, which is about 979,000 discouraged workers. The one race that showed a decline was the Black Race at 13.2% unemployed. Among other races, 6.8% whites, 10% Hispanics and 6.4% Asian had little to no change.




(by Shandira Pavelcik)

Black 2008 – 12.8% 2009 – 17.4%
White 2008 – 07.1% 2009 – 11.1%

Most families with an unemployed member also have at least one family member who is employed. Among families with an unemployed member in 2009, 68.6 percent also had an employed member, compared with 70.8 percent in 2008.

Among married-couple families with an unemployed member in 2009, 79.9 percent had an employed member, down from 82.5 percent in 2008. For families maintained by women (no spouse present) with an unemployed member, the proportion that also contained an employed member was lower in 2009 (46.1 percent) than in 2008 (49.1 percent). For families maintained by men (no spouse present), the proportion fell to 52.6 percent in 2009 from 57.3 percent in 2008.

The share of all families with an unemployed member rose from 7.8 percent in 2008 to 12.0 percent in 2009. The proportion of families with an unemployed family member in 2009 was at its highest level since the data series began in 1994.

SOURCE: 2010 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (updated as of June 2010)



about 73% of Black men ages 25 to 64 were in the labor force including 66% who were employed,


Black-owned businesses accounted for 34.8 percent of all


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