African America’s September Unemployment Report – 12.9%


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Overall Unemployment: 7.2% (7.3%)

African America Unemployment: 12.9% (13.0%)

Latino America Unemployment: 9.0% (9.3%)

European America Unemployment: 6.3% (6.4%)

Asian America Unemployment: 5.3% (5.1%)

Analysis: Overall unemployment dropped 10 basis points. African, European, and Latino Americans saw decreases in their unemployment rates with Latinos seeing the most notable decrease. Asian America saw an uptick but still maintains the lowest unemployment rate of all groups. African America continues to be the only group in double digits.

African American Male Unemployment: 14.0% (13.5%)

African American Female Unemployment: 10.0% (10.6%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 35.1% (38.2%)

African American Male Participation: 67.9% (66.6%)

African American Female Participation: 61.2% (61.5%)

African American Teenage Participation: 29.4% (28.9%)

*Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: The unemployment rate for African American men sees a healthy rise of 50 basis points, but participation rate sees its highest number in the past 5 months. African American women see their unemployment rate drop. It worryingly is dropping on the back of the fifth straight month of participation decline for African American women. The teenage group is the only one of the three who sees a drop in unemployment rate and rise in participation. A rare double win for any of the three groups.

Conclusion: The economy added 148 000 jobs as a whole. African American saw a net plus of 151 000 new jobs. The good news is that government hiring picked up, which favors African American employment rising. The bad news is that African America is still too dependent on government employment, something that will continue to be in the crosshairs as governments deal with pension liabilities and other debt. In September, the number of employed African Americans falls dead in the middle with no real trend upwards or downwards over the past five months. The participation rate is at its second lowest over the past five months, but sees its first uptick after four months of straight declines. At this point, the data is hard to get a trending pattern of African American unemployment either way. It could be that for now – no news is good news (or bad news).

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