African America’s December Unemployment Report – 14.0%

Overall Unemployment: 7.8% (7.7%)

African America Unemployment: 14.0% (13.2%)

Latino America Unemployment: 9.6% (9.9%)

European America Unemployment: 6.9% (6.8%)

Asian America Unemployment: 6.6% (6.4%)

Analysis: Unemployment rates rose across the board for all groups. Asian America maintains the lowest rate. African America showed the largest increase of all groups.

African American Male Unemployment: 14.0% (12.9%)

African American Female Unemployment: 12.2% (11.5%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 40.5% (39.3%)

African American Male Participation: 67.4% (66.9%)

African American Female Participation: 62.2% (62.3%)

African American Teenage Participation: 25.1% (27.0%)

*Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: African America saw substantial rises in all groups for unemployment rate. Overall African America added 29 000 jobs. African American male’s saw the largest rise in unemployment rate among all three groups. African America male’s were also the only group to see a rise in their participation rate which is a positive sign as they added 73 000 jobs. African American females participation rate remained stagnant but were able to add 10 000 jobs. Unfortunately, African American teenagers saw their unemployment rate rise and their participation rate fall as they shed 53 000 jobs. African American teenagers continue to be a crisis area for African America largely unnoticed.

Conclusion: African America made up 18.7 percent of the new jobs in December. A percentage well above the population’s percentage but still too few jobs to gain any economic ground amongst the other groups. While the African American male gain is promising, teenage employment loss is extremely troubling given the dependency on African American teenage income for families. African American teenagers continue to have the third highest unemployment rate in the developed world. The gains among African American males is a positive but should be taken with some reservation since most are occurring in low wage jobs. Underemployment continues to plague African America into the new year. As seasonal jobs are shed over the next month we could see the unemployment situation worsen for African America.

Source: Department of Labor

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