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

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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