African America’s November Unemployment Report – 13.2%


Overall Unemployment: 7.7% (7.9%)

African America Unemployment: 13.2% (14.3%)

Latino America Unemployment: 10.0% (10.0%)

European America Unemployment: 6.8% (7.0%)

Asian America Unemployment: 6.4% (4.9%)

Analysis: Overall unemployment sees a drop with African America having the most significant drop. Latino America remains unchanged and European America sees a slight drop. Asian America is the only group that has a rise in its unemployment rate but remains the lowest of all groups.

African American Male Unemployment: 13.0% (14.1%)

African American Female Unemployment: 11.4% (12.4%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 39.4% (40.5%)

African American Male Participation: 67.1% (67.7%)

African American Female Participation: 62.4% (63.9%)

African American Teenage Participation: 27.3% (29.0%)

*Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: All African American groups see significant drops in unemployment rate and participation rate. The civilian labor force for African America dropped by 300 000 as many stopped looking for work. African American women were the most significant representation of those who stopped looking for work comprising approximately 200 000 or 66 percent of those who left the labor force. Approximately 16 million African Americans were employed last month and the change though downward is negligible. African American men picked up some jobs (44 000) but women and teenagers both saw declines of 80 000 and 19 000 respectively.

Conclusion: The overall economy added 146 000 jobs while African America loss 55 000 jobs. The African American economy continues to drudge along and is exhibiting signs it could be slipping deeper into recession. Hurricane Sandy was said not to have had a major impact on the overall economy but New York City is African America’s largest population center in terms of sheer numbers constituting 5 percent of African America’s total population so it is hard to imagine it not having an impact. The significant drop in African American women out of the labor force is alarming. Given the number of women-headed households being a significant presence in African America, a sign that African American women are discouraged from the job market does not bold well for African American families or the overall health of the African American economy. The loss in jobs is especially troubling because November is usually a time of seasonal hiring for the holidays. Jobs which usually are retail oriented and low wage but vital for families needing the additional income. An inability to increase jobs at this time of year shows an Africa America with a dire situation heading into 2013 as it will have to try to make up for those lost wages. The possibility of shadow market labor that goes unreported in employment numbers could hedge the problem but unlikely to completely stem the tide. Right now if there is good news in the African American economy it is hard to find and with looming political uncertainty around entitlement programs it appears African America could be facing a looming squeeze coupled with declining jobs will extremely hard to prepare for.

Source: Department of Labor

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