Overall, Employment Opportunities for Black Men Is Improving

Overall, Employment Opportunities for Black Men Is Improving

Last month’s Black unemployment rate (10.9 percent) was more than twice the White unemployment rate (4.8 percent), but when it comes to key measures in the labor market, Blacks and Latinos have experienced greater gains than Whites over the past year, according to a recent report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Valerie Wilson, the director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy at EPI, a nonpartisan think tank working to improve economic conditions for low- and middle-income families, said that not only have the unemployment rates for people of color declined faster than the jobless rate for Whites over the last year, the labor force participation, the measure of people that have jobs or currently looking for work, has also increased, pulling more people into the labor market.

Wilson said that an examination of the employment-population ratio, the share of the population of people that have a job, those numbers have also increased more for Blacks and Latinos than the employment-population ratio for Whites.

“That shows that strong job growth matters when we talk about improving employment outcomes for people of color,” said Wilson. “It would be especially beneficial for these groups if the economy continues to proceed on this path.”

According to the latest jobs report from the Labor Department, the economy added 214,000 jobs in October and is averaging of 229,000 added per month this year.  The national unemployment rate edged down to 5.8 percent in October.

Wilson said that the White labor force participation rate continues to shrink, partly because the White labor force is older while retiring and Black and Latino workers tend to be younger.

Wilson said that Black men saw most of the labor market gains that Black workers experienced over the past 12 months.

The unemployment rate for Black men over 20 years-old decreased from 11 percent in September to 10.7 percent in October and the jobless rate for White men fell from 4.4 percent to 4.2 percent.

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Source: LA Sentinel | Freddie Allen, NNPA

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