African America’s February Jobs Report – 10.4%


Overall Unemployment: 5.5% (5.7%)

African America Unemployment: 10.4% (10.3%)

Latino America Unemployment: 6.6% (6.7%)

European America Unemployment: 4.7% (4.9%)

Asian America Unemployment: 4.0% (4.0%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: Overall the unemployment rate drops 20 basis points. European and Latino America see drops of 20 and 10 basis points, respectively. Asian America retains America’s lowest unemployment rate, although unchanged from last month. African America saw an increase of 10 basis points and remains the only group with double digit unemployment.

African American Male Unemployment: 10.4% (10.6%)

African American Female Unemployment: 8.9% (8.7%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 30.0% (29.7%)

African American Male Participation: 67.3% (67.1%)

African American Female Participation: 61.3% (61.3%)

African American Teenage Participation: 29.1% (27.9%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: African American males saw a 20 basis point decline in their unemployment rate and 20 basis point rise in their participation rate. A rare combination of decreasing unemployment rate and rising participation rate. African American females saw a 20 percent rise in their unemployment rate with an unchanged participation rate. African American teenagers saw a 30 basis point rise in their unemployment rate and 120 basis point rise in their participation rate. African American females appear to have firmly entrenched their single digit unemployment rate.

CONCLUSION: The overall economy added 295 000 jobs in February. Higher than economists forecast of 235 000 for the month. African America added 51 000 jobs in the month of February. The second largest job growth jump month to month over the past five months. In a show of optimism, the African American labor force increased by 61 000, which is the largest increase over the past five months and the primary reason why there was an increase in the unemployment rate.  The question is it really optimism or just hopefulness. As a whole, African America still needs to add 88 000 jobs at current labor force levels just to reach single digit unemployment.

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