The Black Unemployment Rate Is The Lowest It Has Ever Been In History

For the first time in recorded history, the unemployment rate for Black Americans has fallen below 5 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the rate reached 4.7 percent in April 2023. The rate at which Black people were unemployed hit its peak during the Covid-19 pandemic. In May 2020, it rocketed to a whopping 16.8 percent.   

Additionally, the gap between Black and white Americans has fallen from 5.4 percentage points to 1.6 percent. Black unemployment has only been recorded since 1972, since then the gap between Black and white unemployment has averaged at 6.1 percent.  

In an press release, President Joe Biden attributed these changes to his administration.  

“The unemployment rate is close to the lowest it has been in more than 50 years and a record low for African Americans. Thanks to the policies we have put in place, the recovery is creating good jobs that you can raise a family on, which is pulling more Americans into the labor force. In fact, the share of working age Americans in the labor force is at a 15 year high,” Biden stated back in April.

Although more Americans are employed overall, many are still feeling the effects of inflation. According to the report released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, wages increased by 4 percentage points on average while inflation reached 5 percent in March. 

Black men over the age of 20 saw an unemployment rate of 4.5 percentage points which is the lowest recorded rate in history. This is not the case for their female counterparts. According to reports published by the labor department, Black women experienced a slight increase in unemployment rates.  

Additionally, there has been a significant increase in the number of Black women leaving the workforce to start their own businesses which may have had an impact on overall reports on employment rates. 

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