Unemployment statistics
(Bakhtiar Zein/Shutterstock)

Unemployment Rate for Black People Goes Up as Rates for All Other Groups Decline

As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease and the economy rumbles back to life, the labor market remains highly uneven with Black men and women still facing unemployment rates that are significantly higher than those for all other groups.

In an article for Bloomberg, Catarina Saraiva reported that “the Black unemployment rate climbed in February even as most other Americans saw a decline in joblessness.”

According to new data from the U.S. Labor Department, the unemployment rate for Black men and women in America rose to 9.9% in February, marking the highest level of unemployment among all races tracked by the government agency. In contrast, the overall U.S. jobless rate dropped to 6.2% while unemployment levels for white, Hispanic and Asian American workers all saw significant declines. (Notably, unemployment for Asian American unemployment fell to 5.1% while the jobless rates for Hispanics dropped slightly to 8.5%.)

As we’ve reported previously, job losses due to COVID-19 have disproportionately impacted minorities, and that is something policymakers intend to continue watching closely as the economy recovers, Saraiva said.  

Speaking cautiously about what full economic recovery might look like, Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, said “4% would be a nice unemployment rate to get to, but it will take more than that to get to maximum employment.” 

Jeanna Smialek of The New York Times said Mr. Powell’s entire message concerning the newly recent job market data “centered on how cautious the central bank plans to be in dialing back economic policies.” 

In other words, even with measures in place to aid in economic recovery, experts believe it will take a significant length of time for the job market to fully bounce back to where it was pre-pandemic — a fact Powell stated will likely hold true for Black people as well as for people of other races. 


Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.


Latest News

Facebook logo

Facebook Forced To Pay a Record $14-Million Settlement for Discriminating Against US Workers

October continues to be a month Facebook likely wishes it could forget. First came Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who explained in chilling detail how the site and its algorithms are designed to profit off what she called “the spread and amplification of hate, misinformation and political unrest.” Then there was…

AbbVie’s ‘Ability’ Employee Resource Group on How the Company Champions People With Seen and Unseen Disabilities

Originally published at stories.abbvie.com. AbbVie ranked No. 15 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   In the sixth of a seven-part Employee Resource Group (ERG) series, we’re shining the spotlight on Ability at AbbVie. This group focuses on advocacy and inclusion, uniting employees with disabilities,…

United States Capitol Building

More Than 300 Black Congressional Staffers Decry Lack of Diversity on Capitol Hill; Challenge Lawmakers To ‘Do Better’

Regardless of which party is in power at any given time, people of color continue to be woefully underrepresented in not just elected office but also within support roles working for those lawmakers. And now, hundreds of these staffers are speaking out about what they call an “appalling” lack of…