….But we’re still at the bottom
By Frederick H. Lowe
The unemployment rate for black men 20 years old and older improved in July compared with June, but their labor-participation rate — the number of black men in this age group employed or looking for work — declined, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.
The jobless rate for black men on a seasonally adjusted basis was 8.8% in July compared with 9.5% in June but their labor-participation rate dropped to 67.0% in July from 67.6% in June, BLS reported on Friday.
The year-over-year unemployment in July was 9.1 %, down sharply from 11.4 % in July 2014. The overall unemployment rate was down from June 2015′ s 9.5%.
The jobless rate for blacks declined although the unemployment rate for African-American women 20 years old and older got a little worse. Their unemployment rate in July was 8.0% compared to 7.9% in June. Year-over-year, the jobless rate for black women declined from 10.1% in July 2014.
BLS determines the unemployment rate by conducting a monthly survey called the Current Population Survey (CPS) to measure the extent of unemployment in the country.
There are about 60,000 eligible households in the sample for this survey. This translates into approximately 110,000 individuals each month. The CPS sample is selected so it is representative of the entire population of the United States.
Although the black jobless rate improved in July, the unemployment rate among African-Americans still leaves us at the very bottom of the job market compared with other racial and ethnic groups.
The unemployment rate for Asians in July was 4.0%. For Hispanic men 20 years old and older, it was 6.0 % and for Hispanic women in the same age category, it was 6.8%. The overall jobless rate for Hispanics in July was 6.8%.
For white men 20 years old and older, the unemployment rate in July was 4.3 %, the same as it was for white women. The overall white unemployment rate was 4.6%.
July’s overall unemployment rate was 5.3% as employment opportunities increased by 215, 000 as job gains occurred in retail trade, health care, professional and technical services and financial activities.
The number of long-term unemployed or those who have not worked for 27 weeks or more, however, was little changed at 2.2 million.