Jul 7, 2023 - Economy & Business

Black unemployment rate jumps 1.3 percentage points since April

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The historic employment gains notched by Black Americans during the pandemic-era recovery may be beginning to reverse — one of the disappointing details of the June jobs report out Friday.

Why it matters: The hot labor market sharply narrowed employment gaps, helping lower-income and other marginalized workers reap benefits other groups felt much sooner. But those workers are also historically the first casualty of softer job conditions.

By the numbers: In April, the Black unemployment rate was 4.7% — the lowest level on record. It has jumped a staggering 1.3 percentage points in the span of just two months.

Zoom out: This economic recovery remains extraordinary for Black workers, by any historical standard. The jobless rate was in double digits for six years following the Great Financial Crisis.

  • By contrast, it took less than a year for the unemployment rate to fall back to single digits after the pandemic.

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