Unemployment Rate for Black Men Declined, but Still Twice as High as White Men

Special from NorthStarNewsToday.com

September’s jobless rate for the black men 20 years old and older dropped according to a report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The unemployment rate for black men in this age group was 6.7 percent compared to 7.8 percent in August, BLS said. Despite the dramatic improvement black men’s jobless rate was still much higher compared to white men (3.4 percent) and Hispanic men (4.0 percent). BLS did not report a jobless rate for the Asian men 20 and older.

However, the labor participation rate for the black men in September was 68.7 percent, higher than any quarter of the last year. The combined unemployment rate for black men and women 20 and older (6.0 percent) reached a 17-year low.

The bureau noted the overall unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage point to 4.2  percent in September and the number of jobless persons declined by 331,000 to 6.8 million.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma caused a significant drop in jobs because of power failures, flooding and other weather related circumstances. “The storms caused large-scale evacuations and severe damage to many homes and businesses,” said William J. Wiatrowski, BLS’s acting director. “In September 1.5 million workers had a job, but were not at work for the entire reference week due to bad weather.”

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