A new Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that Black Americans comprise nearly 90 percent the unemployed population since April of this year.
The current unemployment rate of the group is 6 percent, almost double the rate of White unemployment — which sits at 3.1 percent. According to the report, Black Americans made up about 267,000 of the 300,000 new unemployment cases in the past few months.
This is in stark contrast to a record low in unemployed Black workers less than five months ago. The labor department reported that in April Black unemployment had dipped to 4.7%. Black unemployment hadn’t been that controlled since 1972, which sat at 6.1 percent back then.
“This is a good jobs report for hard-working Americans,” President Biden said in an April news release. “Today’s report shows that we continue to face economic challenges from a position of strength, with the economy adding 236,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate at 3.5%.”
Unfortunately, rampant company budget cuts and layoffs have driven the Black unemployment number up way up since then, and economists are warning of a sobering future if the trend continues.
“If conditions continue to weaken, or even accelerate, the gains won by Black workers and other vulnerable groups could diminish quickly,” William Rodgers, director of the St. Louis Fed’s Institute of Economic Equity, told Bloomberg in a recent interview.