By Frederick H. Lowe
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that the April unemployment rate for African Americans on a seasonally adjusted basis was 9.6%, down from 10.1% in March as the nation’s nonfarm businesses added 223,000 jobs, but the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.4%.
The jobless rate for black men 20 years old and older was 9.2 % in April, down from 10.0% in March, BLS reported. The jobless rate for African-American women 20 years old and older in April was 8.8%, down from 9.2% in March.
The labor-participation rate for black women in April was 61.9%, up from 61.4 % in March. For African-American men, it was 68.7% in April compared to 67.2% in March.
Despite the drop in the unemployment rate, the jobless rate for African Americans remains much higher than other racial or ethnic group. In April, the jobless rate for Asians was 4.4%, for Hispanics, it was 6.9% and for whites it was 4.7%.
White women 20 years older had the lowest unemployment rate at 4.2%, lower than the 4.4% recorded by white men and Asians in the same age group, according to BLS.
Employment increased in professional business services, health care and construction. Employment continued to decline in mining.
There were 756,000 discouraged workers in April, about the same as last year. Discouraged workers have stopped looking for jobs because they don’t believe there are jobs available for them.