African American Unemployment Rate Inched Higher in July

African American Unemployment Rate Inched Higher in July

The unemployment rate for African Americans edged slightly higher in July to 15.6%, from 15.4% in June, while the overall jobless rate remained unchanged at 9.5%.

A total of 71,000 jobs were added in July, below the 200,000 needed to reduce the jobless rate, the Department of Labor reported Friday morning. Total employment decreased by 131,000 in July, reflecting the departure of 143,000 temporary Census 2010 workers from federal government payrolls.

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In July, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was little changed at 6.6 million. These individuals made up 44.9% of unemployed persons.

“The net loss of jobs reported in today’s employment report captures a job market stuck in neutral,” writes the Economic Policy Institute. “It is time for the government to do substantially more to create jobs so the backlog of unemployed workers can get back to work.”

Manufacturing employment increased by 36,000 over the month. Motor vehicles and parts had fewer seasonal layoffs than normal for July, contributing to a seasonally adjusted employment increase of 21,000. Manufacturing employment has expanded by 183,000 since December 2009. The healthcare sector continued its upward climb, 27,000 jobs in July. Over the past 12 months, healthcare employment has risen by 231,000.

All told, there were 14.6 million people looking for work in July. That’s roughly double the figure in December 2007, when the recession began, writes the Associated Press.