Black Unemployment Smashed ‘All-Time Low’ Record

In the final months of the Obama administration, the unemployment rate for black Americans hovered between 8 percent and 9 percent, according to federal data.

Fast forward to August 2019, and there is a world of difference.


New figures from the U.S. Department of Labor show that African-American unemployment for August hit 5.5 percent, breaking the former low of 5.9 percent that was set during the Trump administration in May 2018.

Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s program on race, ethnicity and the economy, said the unemployment decline is a direct result of the booming economy.

“As jobs continue to be created, those who were still looking for work, those like minorities with historically higher rates of unemployment, are the ones in a position to take advantage of those opportunities,” she told CNN.

The black unemployment rate in July stood at 6 percent.

August’s numbers showed that the unemployment rate for black women fell to 4.4 percent from 5.2 percent in July while the rate for men ticked upward from 5.8 percent to 5.9 percent.

The unemployment rate among Hispanics fell to 4.2 percent in August, tying a record low.

Prior to President Donald Trump’s election, the rate hovered between 5.8 percent and 6.3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Trump has said that the low unemployment numbers show the gains made by minority Americans under his administration.

The August jobs report showed the overall unemployment rate at 3.7 percent. “America’s economy continued to show strength in August. The 3.7 percent unemployment rate marks the eighteenth straight month the unemployment rate has been at or below 4 percent,” acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella said in a statement.

He noted that since Trump took office, “more than 5.8 million jobs have been created including the 130,000 jobs created in August.”

“America’s workers are seeing the benefits of the strong job market in their paychecks,” Pizzella said.

“Wages year-over-year increased by 3.2 percent. For thirteen months, wage growth has been at or exceeded 3.0 percent. An important note is that average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees had the largest one month increase in the series history that dates back to 1964.”

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