African America’s December Unemployment Report – 11.9%


Overall Unemployment: 6.7% (7.0%)

African America Unemployment: 11.9% (12.4%)

Latino America Unemployment: 8.3% (8.7%)

European America Unemployment: 5.9% (6.2%)

Asian America Unemployment: 4.1% (5.3%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: Overall unemployment sees another 30 basis point drop. All groups saw drops in their unemployment rates. Asian America saw the most significant decline with a 120 basis point drop. Despite a 60 basis point drop, the African American unemployment rate remains the only one in double digits.

African American Male Unemployment: 11.5% (12.1%)

African American Female Unemployment: 10.4% (11.1%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 35.5% (35.7%)

African American Male Participation: 65.6% (66.3%)

African American Female Participation: 61.2% (61.4%)

African American Teenage Participation: 27.4% (26.5%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: All three groups saw drops in their unemployment rates, but only the teenage group saw its participation rates rise.

Conclusion: The overall economy added 74 000 jobs last month. This was the lowest overall figure in the past three years raising concerns about the Federal Reserve’s continued quantitative easing policy. African America’s labor force dropped by 81 000 largely explaining the significant drop in the unemployment rate. The number of employed increased for African America by only 17 000. Despite how bad it looks, the number of employed actually is the second highest number in the past five months. This is somewhat unsettling given the amount of season hires potentially baked into the statistics. As employers start to unwind these temporary hires over the next few months a clearer picture of African America’s employment situation should come to bear.

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