African America’s February Jobs Report – 8.8%


Overall Unemployment: 4.9% (5.0%)

African America Unemployment: 8.8% (8.8%)

Latino America Unemployment: 5.4% (5.9%)

European America Unemployment: 4.3% (4.3%)

Asian America Unemployment: 3.8% (3.7%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis: Overall unemployment went unchanged in the month of February from the previous month. Latino America was the only group to experience a decline, while Asian America saw a slight uptick. African and European America saw no change.

African American Male Unemployment: 8.6% (8.4%)

African American Female Unemployment: 7.9% (7.9%)

African American Teenage Unemployment: 23.3% (25.2%)

African American Male Participation: 67.5% (67.1%)

African American Female Participation: 62.0% (62.3%)

African American Teenage Participation: 28.8% (28.9%)

Previous month in parentheses.

Analysis:African American males had a 20 basis point increase in their unemployment rate and a 40 basis point increase in their participation rate. African American females had no change in their unemployment rate and a 30 basis point decrease in their participation rate. African American teenagers  unemployment rate declined 1900 basis points and participation rate experienced an decrease of 10 basis points.

CONCLUSION: The overall economy added 242 000 jobs in February. African America added 30 000 jobs in February. The African American labor force is at a five month high. However, participation rate over the past five months remains virtually unchanged meaning that African America’s employment situation is basically doggy paddling in the middle of the economic ocean, still. Just how much optimism can be put into this current economy after the Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in a decade and uncertainty of how companies will respond is tough to get a pulse on. Many believe the more expensive debt even by only 25 basis points could squeeze the public sector where African America is overly concentrated in employment. Oil and commodities continued collapse and instability is continuing to give jitters to the market.  There is definitely a resiliency within the African American labor force to some of the current economic pressures, but just how long that can last remains to be seen. African American needs an increase of 759 000 jobs to match the country’s unemployment rate.

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