May 5, 2023 - Economy

An unemployment rate milestone for Black Americans

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The unemployment rate for Black Americans fell below 5% for the first time ever in April.

By the numbers: The rate peaked at 16.8% in May 2020, and since then has fallen by an astonishing 12.1 percentage points to 4.7% now (though the decline was driven, in part, by a drop in labor force participation among Black workers).

  • The pre-pandemic all-time low was also significantly higher than this, at 5.3% in August 2019.
  • Another all-time low: the gap between Black and white unemployment. It's now 1.6 percentage points, down from 5.4 points in August 2020 and 12.1 points in January 1983.
Go deeper