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

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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