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Black male jobless rate rises

The August unemployment rate for Black men 20 and older went up as U.S. job creation slowed

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Jobless rate for Black men was 7.8 percent in August, up from 7.0 percent in July 2017

The August unemployment rate for Black men 20 and older went up as U.S. job creation slowed.

The jobless rate for Black men was 7.8 percent in August, up from 7.0 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Sept. 8.

However, the jobless rate for Black women 20 and older was 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent in July. The overall Black unemployment rate for men and women was 7.8 percent, up from 7.4 percent, much higher than the jobless rates for Asians (4.0 percent), Whites (3.9 percent), and Hispanics (5.2 percent), BLS reported.

The country’s non-farm businesses added 156,000 jobs in August, well below the monthly average of 176,000 for this year through the month of July.

Also, the employment-population ratio, the share of the population that has jobs, is only declining for Black workers.

Economic Policy Institute economist Valerie Wilson, said part of the reason the unemployment rate for Blacks is going up is because more are looking for work.

“We still maintain that roughly 2-to-1 ratio between Black and White unemployment,” Wilson told NPR in January.

“That disparity is very persistent and it’s present whether we’re in a recession or in a recovery. It’s present at all levels of education.”

Economist and writer Imara Jones told NPR that African-Americans are more likely to be teachers and firefighters and police than their White counterparts — in part because of the strong anti-discrimination laws that exist for government jobs that you don’t have in the private sector. “And of course during the Great Recession, one of the greatest lagging sectors in jobs was that — in government.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that Hurricane Harvey did not have any discernable effect on August’s job numbers.

Jobs were created in manufacturing, construction, professional and technical services, healthcare, and mining.

The overall unemployment rate was 4.4 percent.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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