By Frederick H. Lowe
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for black men 20 years old and older dropped in January compared with December, but the results were mixed for African-American workers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this month.
The jobless rate for black men was 10.8 percent in January compared to 11.0 percent in December, BLS reported. The unemployment rate for black women 20 years old and older was 8.7 percent in January compared with 8.2 percent in December.
The labor-participation rate for African-American men and women dropped in January compared to December. However, there was an overall labor-participation rate increase of 0.2 percentage points to 62.9 percent in January.
The overall black unemployment rate was 10.3 percent in January compared to 10.4 percent in December.
Although the jobless rate among African Americans showed improvement in some areas, the unemployment rate for black men and women remains much higher compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate for Hispanics in January was 6.7 percent, which was up from 6.5 percent in December. The January unemployment rate for white men 20 years old and older was 4.5 percent, up from 4.4 percent in December.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that January’s unemployment rate for white women 20 years old and older was 4.4 percent, the same as in December.
January’s unemployment rate for Asians was 4.0 percent, down from 4.2 percent in December.
There were 9 million unemployed persons in January, which is little changed from the prior month. The number of individuals who had been jobless for 27 weeks or more was essentially unchanged. These individuals accounted for 31.5 percent of the total unemployed. Among the unemployed, 6.8 million individuals were working part-time.
The Bureau of Labor Statistic reported that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 257,000, but the overall unemployment was little changed at 5.7 percent.
Job gains occurred in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing. Retail trade added 46,000 jobs and construction hired 39,000 new workers.
Average hourly wages rose 12 cents to $24.75 in January, following a decline of 5 cents in December.