With Unemployment Rates Steadily Rising, Black Women Suffer the Most, According To New Data

With Unemployment Rates Steadily Rising, Black Women Suffer the Most, According To New Data

Recent employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a 0.9% increase in the unemployment rate among Black women, a troubling and unexpected change given the country’s record low unemployment levels over the past year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Black women was 4.4% in April 2023. However, by May, this statistic had increased to 5.3%, which has had a substantial toll on the country’s overall unemployment rates. 

The sudden shift has Black laborers searching for answers. Nick Bunker, the economic research director at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told NBC News about the rise in Black unemployment “was the most troubling sign in this report.”

He added, “Almost half of the increase in the number of unemployed workers was due to a spike in Black unemployment. This might be statistical noise, or it could be a sign of Black workers’ disproportionately bearing the brunt of a rise in joblessness.”

This new data also illuminate gender as a factor in the significant job loss within the Black labor force. Black women have been burdened with most of the fallout, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
The unemployment rate for Black men has also witnessed an unwelcome increase, from 4.5% to 5.6%. 

This data have surprised many laborers. Last month, CNBC reported that the unemployment rate for Black workers peaked at 4.7%, the lowest it has been for over five decades. According to NBC News, an influx of jobs within the transportation and warehouse sector led to many Black men finding work, a feat that contributed to low unemployment rates. 

With such high unemployment rates, Black households will become collateral. 

“That level of economic insecurity, I think, feeds into the more harmful impact of a job loss when you don’t have another earner in your household income,” Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and Economy, told NBC News. “And then if there are not sufficient savings to sort of fill in that loss of income until someone can find a job.” 

These changes are a stark contrast to the previous years. Black unemployment rates remain considerably low in light of the 2020 record high of 16.8%, Axios reported.