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

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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