Economic Perspectives with Hopeton Hay on KAZI 88.7 FM in Austin, TX

Posts Tagged ‘African American unemployment’

African American Unemployment Declines for Third Straight Month in February

Posted by Hopeton on March 5, 2011

The unemployment rate for African Americans declined for the third consecutive month to 15.3 percent in February 2011 according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Here is the unemployment rate for African Americans every month since the recession began in December 2007:

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2007 9.0
2008 9.1 8.3 9.1 8.6 9.6 9.5 10.0 10.7 11.4 11.4 11.5 12.1
2009 12.7 13.6 13.5 15.0 15.0 14.9 14.8 15.0 15.4 15.8 15.7 16.2
2010 16.4 15.8 16.5 16.5 15.5 15.4 15.7 16.2 16.1 15.7 16.0 15.8
2011 15.7 15.3                    

 

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African American Unemployment Reaches Highest Rate in 25 Years

Posted by Hopeton on January 10, 2010

African American unemployment increased to 16.2 percent in December 2009, its highest rate since July of 1984 according to the monthly Employment Situation report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The number of African American unemployed increased by 86,000 from November to 2,843,000.  Since the recession began in December of 2007, the number of unemployed African Americans has grown nearly 1.1 million.

The data reveals the growth in unemployment among African Americans was driven by an  increase in unemployed for African American females.  An examination of the unemployment figures by gender reveals that unemployment for African Americans males decreased to 18.2 percent in December from 18.7 percent in November.  Despite the decline, the November and December unemployment rates for African American males are the highest since September of 1983 when it hit 19.5 percent.  African American female unemployment increased to 14.3 percent in December, a significant increase of the November unemployment rate of 12.8 percent.

Even with the rapid in African American female unemployment in 2009, the recession continues to disproportionately impact African American male unemployment.  At the beginning of the recession in December of 2007, African American female unemployment was 8.1 percent while African American male unemployment was 9.9 percent, only 1.8 percentage points higher.  As of December 2009, African American male unemployment is 3.9 percentage points higher than African American female unemployment.

Report Analyzes 2008 Unemployment by Race and Ethnicity

A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Force Characteristics by Race and Ethnicity, 2008,  acknowledges the labor market problems of African Americans and Hispanics were especially acute in 2008. In the overview of the report it is written:

“The labor market difficulties of blacks and Hispanics are associated with many factors, not all of which are measurable. Some of these factors are their lower average levels of schooling; their tendency to be employed in occupations with high levels of unemployment; their greater concentration in the central cities of urban areas, where job opportunities may be relatively limited; and the likelihood that they experience discrimination in the workplace. These and other factors may make it especially difficult for some black and Hispanic workers to find or keep jobs as the overall demand for labor contracts during economic downturns.”

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African American Unemployment Continues to Rise

Posted by Hopeton on November 7, 2009

Despite news of an improving economic picture for the nation, national unemployment continued at historic highs coming in at 15.7 percent for African Americans, 13.1 percent for Hispanics, and overall unemployment of 10.2 percent for the month of October according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly update on employment.

The 15.7 unemployment rate for African Americans was the highest since August 1984 when it reached 16 percent.  The overall unemployment rate of 10.2 percent was the highest since April 1983 when it also was 10.2 percent.

African American male unemployment was 17.1 percent and African American female unemployment was 12.4 percent in October.

Industry Employment

Total nonfarm payroll employment declined by 190,000 in October. In the most recent 3 months, job losses have averaged 188,000 per month, compared with losses averaging 357,000 during the prior 3 months. In contrast, losses averaged 645,000 per month from November 2008 to April 2009. Since December 2007, payroll employment has fallen by 7.3 million.

Health care employment continued to increase in October (29,000). Since the start of the recession, health care has added 597,000 jobs.

Construction employment decreased by 62,000 in October. Monthly job losses have averaged 67,000 during the most recent 6 months, compared with an average decline of 117,000 during the prior 6 months. October job losses were concentrated in nonresidential specialty trade contractors (-30,000) and in heavy construction (-14,000). Since December 2007, employment in construction has fallen by 1.6 million.

Manufacturing continued to shed jobs (-61,000) in October, with losses in both durable and nondurable goods production. Over the past 4 months, job losses in manufacturing have averaged 51,000 per month, compared with an average monthly loss of 161,000 from October 2008 through June 2009. Manufacturing employment has fallen by 2.1 million since December 2007.

Retail trade lost 40,000 jobs in October. Employment declines were concentrated in sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-16,000) and in department stores (-11,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing decreased by 18,000 in October.

Temporary help services has added 44,000 jobs since July, including 34,000 in October. From January 2008 through July 2009, temporary help services had lost an average of 44,000 jobs per month.

The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.0 hours in October. The manufacturing workweek rose by 0.1 hour to 40.0 hours, and factory overtime increased by 0.2 hour over the month.

In October, average hourly earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $18.72. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.4 percent, while average weekly earnings have risen by only 0.9 percent due to declines in the average workweek.

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African American Unemployment Declines for 2nd Consecutive Month

Posted by Hopeton on July 7, 2009

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an African American unemployment rate of 14.7 percent in June in its Monthly Employment Situation Report, a decline from the May unemployment rate of 14.9 percent and the second consecutive drop in the monthly unemployment rate.  The African American unemployment rate during the recession reached its highest point in April with a 15.0 percent rate and 2,673,000 unemployed. Since then the number of unemployed African American has declined to 2,597,000.  Overall unemployment was 9.5 percent in June, a slight increase from 9.4 percent in May.  The number of unemployed was 14,729,000, an increase of  218,000 over May.

Since the recession began in December 2007, the African American unemployment rate has risen by 5.7 percentage points and the number of unemployed has increased by slightly over 1 million persons.   During this same time frame, the overall unemployment rate has risen by 4.6 percentages and the number of unemployed has increased by 7.2 million persons.

Industry Payroll Employment (Establishment Survey Data)

Total nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in June (-467,000). Job losses from April to June averaged 436,000 per month, compared with losses averaging 670,000 per month from November to March.

Employment in manufacturing fell by 136,000 over the month and has declined by 1.9 million during the recession. Within the durable goods industry, motor vehicles and parts (-27,000), fabricated metal products (-18,000), computer and electronic products (-16,000), and
machinery (-14,000) continued to lose jobs in June. Since the recession began, employment in motor vehicles and parts has declined by 335,000, or about one-third.

In June, employment in construction fell by 79,000, with losses spread throughout the industry. Since the start of the recession, construction employment has fallen by 1.3 million. Mining employ-
ment fell by 8,000 in June, about in line with the average monthly decline since its recent peak in October 2008.

Employment in the professional and business services industry declined by 118,000 in June. This industry has shed 1.5 million jobs since an employment peak in December 2007. Within this sector, employment in temporary help services fell by 38,000 in June; this industry
has lost 848,000 jobs since the start of the recession.

Retail trade employment edged down in June (-21,000); job losses in retail trade have moderated in the past 3 months. Over the month, job losses continued in automobile dealerships (-9,000). Employment continued to fall in wholesale trade (-16,000).

In June, financial activities employment continued to decline (-27,000). Since the start of the recession, this industry has lost 489,000 jobs. In June, employment declined in credit intermediation and related activities (-10,000) and in securities, commodity contracts,
and investments (-6,000).

The information industry lost 21,000 jobs over the month and 187,000 since the start of the recession. Publishing accounted for about half of the employment decline in the information industry during the recession.

Health care employment increased by 21,000 in June. Job gains in health care have averaged 21,000 per month thus far in 2009, down from an average of 30,000 per month during 2008.

Employment in federal government fell by 49,000 in June, largely due to the layoff of work-
ers temporarily hired to prepare for Census 2010.

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African American Recession Job Losses Surpass 1 million, Obama Annouces Training Initiative for Unemployed

Posted by Hopeton on May 10, 2009

By Hopeton Hay

The April unemployment data released May 8th revealed continuing job losses in the economy with African Americans suffering disproportionately.   African Americans have lost over 1 million jobs since the recession began according to my analysis of the latest data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  From an industry perspective, health care remains the one industry sector that continues to record consistent monthly job increases while manufacturing, professional and business services, and the construction industries recorded the highest job losses in April.  Meanwhile, President Obama announced a new initiative to facilitate access to raining for the unemployed on May 8.

African American Unemployment

When the recession started in December of 2007 there were 1,561,000 unemployed African American according to seasonally adjusted employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The April 2009 employment report from the BLS,  released May 8, indicates there were 2,673,000 unemployed African Americans in April.

The April unemployed figure was 340,000 higher than March, the largest one month increase in African American unemployed since at least February 1972.  Monthly data on African American employment is available through online reports on the BLS web site only as far back as January 1972.  African Americans represented more than 60 percent of the total increase in the number of unemployed, which was 563,000 for the entire nation.

African American unemployment rate dramatically increased from 13.3 percent in March to 15 percent in April, its highest rate since June of 1986. During the same time period, Hispanic unemployment dropped slightly from 11.4 percent to 11.3 percent, and white unemployment rose from 7.9 percent to 8 percent.  Overall unemployment grew from 8.5 percent to 8.9 percent in April.

Industry Employment Changes in April

The health care industry continues to provide consistent growth in job opportunities.  Health care employment grew 17,000 in April and has averaged 17,000 new jobs a month in 2009, down from an average monthly job growth of 30,000 in 2008.

The federal government employment grew 66,000 in April, largely due to the increase in employment by the Census Bureau for the 2010 census.

Other industries experienced significant job losses in March led by the manufacturing industry with a loss of 149,000 jobs, professional and business services lost 122,000 jobs, the construction industry lost 110,000 jobs, and retail lost 47,000 jobs.

Obama Announces Job Training Initiative for Unemployed

With the release of the April unemployment figures, President Obama announced new steps to help the unemployed obtain retraining and education “for the jobs and industries of tomorrow” at a press briefing May 8th.

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

“First, we’ll open new doors to higher education and job training programs to recently laid-off workers who are receiving unemployment benefits.  And if those displaced workers need help paying for their education, they should get it — and that’s why the next step is to make it easier for them to receive Pell Grants,” said Obama.

“I’ve asked my Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and my Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, to work closely with states and our institutions of higher learning and encourage them not only to allow these changes, but to inform all workers receiving unemployment benefits of the training programs and financial support open to them.  And together, the Department of Education and the Department of Labor have created a new website called opportunity.gov — I’ll repeat that, opportunity.gov — to help workers discover and take advantage of these opportunities,” said Obama.

Hopeton Hay is editor and publisher of the Economic Perspectives blog and chairman of the Economic Development Committee of the Texas NAACP.

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African American Unemployment Rates in February & March Highest Since 1993, Overall Unemployment Rises to Highest Since 1983

Posted by Hopeton on April 7, 2009

NOTE: For the latest post on African American unemployment click the following link: African American Recession Job Losses Surpasses 1 million, Obama Announces Training Initiative for Unemployed

By Hopeton Hay

African American unemployment declined slightly from 13.4 percent in February to 13.3 percent in March according to the latest data relased by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The African American unemploymment rates for February and March are the highest seen since June of 1993 when it was 13.4 percent.

Overall unemployment reached 8.5 percent in March, the highest overall unemployment rate in the U.S. since November of 1983.  Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.1 million jobs have been lost, with almost two-thirds (3.3 million) of the decrease occurring in the last 5 months.  In March, job losses were large and widespread across the major industry sectors.

unemployment1

Industry Employment Losses By Sector

Manufacturing employment fell by 161,000 in March, with widespread job losses occurring among the component industries.  Factory employment has declined by 1.0 million over the past 6 months.  In March, the largest decreases occurred in fabricated metal products (-28,000), machinery
(-27,000), and transportation equipment (-26,000).
   
The construction industry lost 126,000 jobs in March, with declines occurring throughout the industry.  Employment in construction has fallen by 1.3 million since peaking in January 2007; nearly half of that decline occurred over the last 5 months.  In March, employment fell in specialty trade contractors (-83,000) and construction of buildings (-33,000).  These declines were split about evenly between the residential and nonresidential portions of these industries.  Heavy and civil engineering construction also lost 10,000 jobs.  Employment in mining and logging declined by 18,000 in March.

Employment in professional and business services fell by 133,000 in March, with declines throughout most of the sector.  More than half of the loss occurred in temporary help services, which cut 72,000 jobs in March and 767,000 since December 2007.  In March, architectural and engineering services lost 16,000 jobs.
   
Retail trade employment fell by 48,000 over the month.  Since peaking in November 2007, employment in the industry has declined by an average of 44,000 per month.  In March, employment decreased in building material and garden supply stores (-13,000), automobile dealerships (-12,000), and electronics and appliance stores (-10,000).  Employment in wholesale trade fell by 31,000 in March, with nearly all of the decline occurring in durable goods.
   
Employment in financial activities continued to decline in March (-43,000). The number of jobs in this industry has dropped by 495,000 since an employment peak in December 2006.  More than half of this loss occurred in the past 7 months.  In March, job losses occurred in credit intermediation (-15,000); real estate (-12,000); and securities, commodity contracts, and investments (-7,000).
   
Leisure and hospitality shed 40,000 jobs in March, with most of the decrease in the accommodation industry (-23,000).  The leisure and hospitality industry has lost 351,000 jobs since an employment peak in December 2007.
   
Transportation and warehousing lost 34,000 jobs in March, raising total job losses to 265,000 since employment peaked in December 2007.  In March, employment declined in truck transportation (-15,000), support activities for transportation (-7,000), and couriers and messengers (-5,000).  Health care employment continued to trend up in March (14,000); however, monthly job growth in the first quarter averaged 17,000 compared with 30,000 per month in 2008.

Posted in African American, Economy | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

African American Adult Male Unemployment in January Highest Since 1984

Posted by Hopeton on February 12, 2009

NOTE: For the latest post on African American unemployment click the following link:  African American Unemployment Rates in February & March Highest Since 1993, Overall Unemployment Rises to Highest Since 1983

The latest unemployment statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on February 6

unemployment-sex-race1indicate that the recession is continuing to have a disproportionate impact on African American adult males (20 years of age and older).  African American adult male unemployment increased sharply from 13.4 percent in December 2008 to 14.1 percent in January 2009, its highest rate since August 1984.  Since the recession began in December 2007, African American adult male unemployment has grown 5.9 percentage points, more than twice as much as it has for African American adult females, adult white females, and adult white males.  The table below illustrates the changes.

From December 2008 to January 2009, the number of unemployed African American adult males increased 60,000 from 1,069,000 to 1,129,000.  African American adult female unemployment grew  from 8.9 percent in December 2008 to 9.2 percent in January 2009.  The number of unemployed African American adult females increased 24,000 from 804,000 in December 2008 to 828,000 in January 2009.

The unemployment rate for all African Americans (16 years and older)increased from 11.9 percent in December 2008 to 12.6 percent in January 2009 according to data released by the U.S. Bureau  of Labor Statistics.    The number of African Americans unemployed increased from 2,122,000 to 2,245,000; an increase of 123,000.

During the same time period overall unemployment increase from 7.2 percent in December 2008 to 7.6 percent in January 2009.

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African American Unemployment in December 2008 Highest Since 1993

Posted by Hopeton on January 11, 2009

NOTE: For the latest post on African American unemployment click the following link: African American Recession Job Losses Surpasses 1 million, Obama Announces Training Initiative for Unemployed

By Hopeton Hay

African American males unemployment reached 13.4 percent in December of 2008, its highest level since March of 1993 according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Since the recession began in December 2007, unemployment for African American males has risen at a much faster rate than African American females, white males and white males.  It has risen 5.3 percentage points since December 2007. During the same time period unemployment has risen2.6percentage points for white males, 1.9 percentage points for African American females, and 1.6 percentage points for white females as exhibited in the chart below.

Overall African American unemployment in December 2008 was 11.9 percent, the highest since April 1994.  The number of African American unemployed increased by 117,000 from November 2008 to 2, 122,000 in December 2008.

Overall unemployment for the U.S. was at 7.2 percent in December 2008, the highest level seen since January 1993.

The one bright spot in the unemployment data is the health care industry according to a statement from Keith Hall, Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.  “The only major private industry sector that continued to add a significant number of jobs was health care.  Employment in this industry rose by 32,000 over the month and by 372,000 over the past 12 months,” said Hall.

unemployment-dec083

Educational Attainment Impacts Racial Disparities in Unemployment

One of the causes of the large disparity in unemployment rates for African Americans, especially males, may be the lower level of educational achievement.  An analysis of unemployment data from BLS reveal an inverse correlation between the level of educational achievement and the unemployment rate.  In 2007 for example, the average unemployment rate  was 3.0 percent for African Americans with a bachelors degree or higher, while it was 7.3 percent for African Americans with only a high school diploma, and no college.

Unfortunately, the percentage of African Americans 25 years or older with a bachelors degree or higher lagged far behind whites according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau 2007 American Community Survey.  Only 15.8 percent of African American males in 2007 had bachelor degrees  compared to 31.9 percent of white males.  Among females, 18.5 percent of African Americans had bachelors degrees and 29.2 percent of whites.

Because African Americans families have median income and wealth far below the average American, it is much more difficult to finance the cost of college. Thus public policies that increase the level of funding to subsidize the cost of college for low to moderate income families can play a critical role in reducing unemployment in the African American community.

Because African Americans families have median income and wealth far below the average American, it is much more difficult to finance the cost of college. Thus public policies that increase the level of funding to subsidize the cost of college for low to moderate income families can play a critical role in reducing unemployment in the African American community.


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African American Unemployment Rate Highest Since 2003

Posted by Hopeton on November 8, 2008

NOTE: For the latest post on African American unemployment click the following link:  African American Unemployment Rates in February & March Highest Since 1993, Overall Unemployment Rises to Highest Since 1983

By Hopeton Hay

An analysis of U.S. unemployment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics reveals that the African American unemployment rates in September of 11.4% and in October of 11.1% are the highest rates seen since 2003. In June of 2003 African American unemployment was 11.5% and was 11.1% in September 2003. The African American unemployment rate has grown 2.8 percentage points since reaching a low of 8.3% in February of this year. During the same February – October 2008 period, overall unemployment rose only 1.7 percentage points from 4.8% to 6.5%. us-monthly-unemployment-rate-chart

The U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics has monthly unemployment data for African Americans going back to January 1972. Historically, the African American unemployment rate has persisted at being approixmately twice as high as the overall unemployment rate. The 11.1% unemployment rate for African Americans in October is far lower than the peak of 21.2% in January 1983.

This data and more information on the Economic Condition of African Americans will be presented at the seminar Building Black Wealth: Surviving and Thriving During the Financial Crisis being held November 15, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at BiGAustin. For more information see the post: November 15 Seminar: Black Wealth.

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