Increase of Unemployment Rate in March for Black Americans Counteracts General Trends

The number of Black Americans without jobs went up in March, as shown in data released by the Department of Labor on Friday.

Last month, the unemployment rate for Black people rose to 6.4%, up from 5.6% in February.

That’s higher than the general unemployment rate, which went down a bit to 3.8% last month. It’s also higher than the jobless rate for white Americans, which stayed the same at 3.4% from February.

Concerns raised as Black women’s jobless rate spiked to 5.6% in March. (Credits: Washington Informer)

Looking at gender, the unemployment rate for Black women aged 20 or older went up to 5.6%, a big jump from 4.4% in February. For Black men, their jobless rates increased a little to 6.2% from 6.1%.

As per the report by CNBC, Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said, “That’s a concerning trend.” She pointed out that the unemployment rate for Black Americans has been going up since December.

“I would say it’s not alarming yet, but I think it’s something that we need to watch in the coming months,” she added.

Economist Elise Gould warns of a steady increase in Black unemployment since December.

While the increase in March was mainly because more Black women were out of work, Gould noted that over the past four months, both men’s and women’s unemployment rates have risen. But she also warned that monthly data for different groups can change a lot.

Last month, the labor force participation rate – which shows the percentage of the population working or looking for work – among Black Americans went down a bit to 63.6%, from 63.7% in February.

Among Black women, it went down to 63% from 63.4%, and for Black men, it went down to 69.6% from 69.8%.

“People are looking for more opportunities, but not everyone is finding them, and that’s why the unemployment rate is going up,” Gould explained as stated by CNBC

Labor force participation among Black Americans dips slightly to 63.6% in March.

In comparison, the prevailing U.S. labor market participation rate went up to 62.7% in March from 62.5% in February.

During the Covid pandemic, Black Americans were hit the hardest by business closures. In 2020, the unemployment rate for Black workers reached 16.8%, higher than the general unemployment rate, which peaked at 14.7% in April 2020.

Hispanic Americans saw their unemployment rate go down to 4.5% from 5% last month, and Asian unemployment fell to 2.5% from 3.4% in February.

Michael Manua
Michael Manua
Michael, a seasoned market news expert with 29 years of experience, offers unparalleled insights into financial markets. At 61, he has a track record of providing accurate, impactful analyses, making him a trusted voice in financial journalism.
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