*Hiring picked up slightly in July and the U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 9.1 percent. The modest improvement may quiet fears of another recession after the worst losses on Wall Street in nearly three years.
Employers added 117,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. That’s better than the past two months, which were also revised higher.
Black unemployment dipped from 16.2 percent in June to 15.9 percent. And black teen joblessness, still the highest of any group, ticked down from 39.9 percent to 39.2 percent.
*While African Americans continue to have the highest unemployment rate of any major population group, the overall situation appeared to have improved last month with Black unemployment falling from 16.1 percent in September to 15.7 percent in October.
According to the monthly Labor Department report released on Friday, this improvement took place while the jobless rates for both whites and Hispanics worsened.
The Black unemployment rate of 15.7 percent compared with rates of 8.8 percent for whites (up from 8.7 percent in September) and 12.6 percent for Hispanics (up from 12.4 percent in September).
Overall, the economy created 151,000 new jobs in October although the national unemployment rate remained unchanged – standing at 9.6 percent. This increase was welcomed by most economists because it came after four consecutive months of job loses.
Meanwhile, the improvement in the jobless picture for African Americans may have been only partially real. In October, there was also an increase in the number of “discouraged” workers – people who have given up looking for work because they feel they will not find any. Discouraged workers make the unemployment rate look better than it actually is because the government does not count a person as unemployed unless he or she is actively looking for work.
Regardless, there were actually fewer jobless Blacks in October than in September. Last month’s unemployment figure for Blacks was 2,814,000 compared to 2,860,000 in September. The average hourly wage last month (for the nation as a whole) was $22.73 – up by 5 cents from September. (source: www.blacknewsjournal.net)
*There was mixed economic news from the Labor Department this past Friday.
The agency’s monthly report showed that businesses had created 290,000 new jobs in April but the unemployment rate for African Americans remained stuck at an usually high 16.5 percent – the same as it was in March.
Thus, while employers were creating nearly 300,000 new jobs, an even larger number of people were re-entering the labor market seeking work. The net result was that the unemployment rate rose from 9.7 percent in March to 9.9 percent last month.
As indicated, the Black jobless rate remained stuck at 16.5 percent while that for whites rose slightly from 8.8 percent in March to 9.0 percent in April.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for Hispanics improved slightly going from 12.6 percent in March to 12.5 percent last month. (Taylor Media Services – www.blacknewsjournal.net)
*There was some good news on the nation’s unemployment front last month, but not for Blacks.
According to the monthly report released Friday by the Labor Department, the overall unemployment rate fell from 10.0 percent in December to 9.7 last month. The decline took place even though the economy lost another 20,000 jobs to the current recession.
When the unemployment rate falls at the same time that jobs are being lost, it usually means that a significant number of people simply became discouraged and stopped looking for work. The Labor Department does not count a person as being unemployed unless he or she is actually looking for work and cannot find it.
Meanwhile, the employment picture improved for both whites and Hispanics while getting worse for African Americans. Joblessness among whites improved slightly from 9.0 percent in December to 8.7 percent in January.
A slight improvement also took place for Hispanics. Their unemployment rate dropped from 12.9 percent in December to 12.6 percent Last month.
However, the jobless rate among African Americans continued to rise – going from 16.2 percent in December to 16.5 percent last month. Overall, 2,929,000 African Americans were searching for work in January and could not find. (source: Taylor Media Services)