Businesses Added 313,000 New Jobs in February, Reducing Unemployment Among Blacks

Graph by Frederick Lowe

By Frederick H. Lowe

Special from

( – The nation’s businesses added 313,000 new jobs in February, cutting the unemployment rate for black men and black women.

The overall unemployment rate for blacks was 6.9 percent in February compared to 7.5 percent in January.

Although the jobless rate for African Americans dropped significantly, it was still much higher than the rate for whites, which was 3.7 percent, and for Asians, which was 2.9 percent, and for Hispanics, which was 4.9 percent.

The jobless rate for black men 20 and older dropped to 5.9 percent in February compared with 7.5 percent in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The unemployment rate for African-American women 20 and older fell to 6.2 percent in February compared with 6.6 percent in January, BLS reported.

In 2016, there were 19.6 million blacks in the labor force, according to BLS. African American’s annual growth rates in the population and in the labor force are projected to be slower over the 2016-2026 decade than over the four previous decades.

Employment rose in construction, retail trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities and mining.

The nation’s overall unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent.

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