African America’s December Jobs Report – 10.4%


Overall Unemployment: 5.6% (5.8%)

African America Unemployment: 10.4% (11.1%)

Latino America Unemployment: 6.5% (6.6%)

European America Unemployment: 4.8% (4.9%)

Asian America Unemployment: 4.2% (4.8%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: The overall unemployment rate saw a 20 basis point decline. All groups saw declines in their unemployment rates last month with African America experiencing the largest drop of 70 basis points. African America continues to be the only group with double digit unemployment.

African American Male Unemployment: 11.0% (11.2%)

African American Female Unemployment: 8.2% (9.6%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 33.2% (28.1%)

African American Male Participation: 67.8% (67.1%)

African American Female Participation: 61.2% (62.0%)

African American Teenage Participation: 29.0% (30.3%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: African American males got a rare combination of declining unemployment and rising participation as the former dropped 20 basis points while the latter rose 70 basis points, respectively. African American females received good news/bad news. Their unemployment rate dropped by 140 basis points, but the more important participation rate also dropped by 80 basis points. African American teenagers suffered a double blow of rising unemployment rate and declining participation rate with the former rising 510 basis points and the latter dropping 130 basis points, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The overall economy added 252 000 jobs in December and brought a close the best year of job growth the country has had in 15 years. African American picked up 93 000 jobs in December to close out 2014 and bringing the total job gains for the year to 812 000. An average of almost 68 000 jobs gained per month. African American females in the labor force showed a significant drop, but number of employed is at its highest in five months, which explains the significant drop in the unemployment rate for the women. African American women continue to be the key driver of economic health in African American households and as they go so goes the African American economy. The Teenage group has seen its ranks of employed drop to its second lowest number in the past five months after rare multi-month run of job gains. A fragile group that remains in crisis. Wages have remained stagnant, but with the collapse in oil prices many non-energy businesses and households are reaping extra income. Just how long they remain low is still up for debate, but could be an opportune time for households to catch up on bills, save some, and buffer for the coming end to seasonal work. African America now needs 101 000 jobs to reach the elusive single digit unemployment rate.

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