Unemployment among black Americans twice that among whites

By | July 5, 2014

The earliest year for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics has consistent unemployment data by race, in 1954, the white rate averaged five percent and the black rate averaged 9.9 percent.

The jobless rate among whites last month was 6.6 percent; among blacks, 12.6 percent. The unemployment rate for blacks has averaged about 2.2 times that for whites.

For the largest disparities among unemployed blacks and whites, in the late 1980s, black unemployment was as much as 2.77 times that of white unemployment. The manufacturing sectors that employed disproportionate shares of African-Americans at that time dried up.

Ironically, the smallest gap between black and white unemployment came in the summer of 2009 during the Great Recession. White unemployment at that time rose so high, so fast, that the black jobless rate was “only” 1.67 times higher. (Catholic Online)

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