Jun 15, 2022 - Axios Events

Biden adviser: Recovery has been "more equitable" for Black Americans than before

Cecilia Rouse talking to Axios' Alexi McCammond
Cecilia Rouse talking to Axios' Alexi McCammond. Photo: Axios events

The economic recovery has been "more equitable" for Black Americans than after previous downturns, Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, told Axios at an event on equity in entrepreneurship Wednesday.

Why it matters: Black Americans as a group face the highest unemployment rates of any racial category in the U.S. But Rouse pointed to data that shows the Black jobless rate is recovering more quickly than it has in the past.

  • Some 63% of all Black people in the U.S. were either looking for a job or employed during the month, which spurred a broader increase in labor force participation among the total population. Meanwhile, the Black unemployment rate fell to 6.2%.

The other side: Rouse said while the recovery "has been more robust for African-Americans," there are still areas for improvements "so that the economic growth we have can be more widely shared. And we can we can even reduce even further the gaps that existed even before the pandemic started."

Rouse pointed to a 12% difference in small business ownership between Black and white people. "By at least one estimate, if we could close that gap, we would actually narrow the Black-white wealth gap up substantially as well," she said.

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