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

African American Unemployment Rate Hits 23 Year High, Healthcare Job Growth Continues

Posted by Hopeton on September 6, 2009

After declining for three straight months, the unemployment rate for African Americans rose from 14.5 percent in July to 15.1 percent in August according to the latest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The August unemployment rate for African Americans is the highest since November of 1985 when it was 15.6 percent.  Unemployment for whites in August was 8.9 percent and for Hispanics it was 13.0 percent.  Overall unemployment was 9.7 percent.

The latest report also indicated that African American male unemployment rose from 15.8 percent in July to 17.0 percent in August and rose from 11.7 percent in July to 11.9 percent in August for African American females.

Employment Trends By Industry

Employment in health care continued to rise in August (28,000), with gains in ambulatory care and in nursing and residential care. Employment in hospitals was little changed in August; job growth in the industry slowed in early 2009 and employment has been flat since May.  Health care has added 544,000 jobs since the start of the recession. 

In August, construction employment declined by 65,000, in line with the trend since May. Monthly losses had averaged 117,000 over the 6 months ending in April. Employment in the construction industry has contracted by 1.4 million since the onset of the recession. Starting in early 2009, the larger share of monthly job losses shifted from the residential to the nonresidential and heavy construction components.  In mining, employment declined by 9,000 over the month.

In August, manufacturing employment continued to trend downward, with a decline of 63,000. The pace of job loss has slowed throughout manufacturing in recent months. Motor vehicles and parts lost 15,000 jobs in August, partly offsetting a 31,000 employment increase in July.

Financial activities shed 28,000 jobs in August, with declines spread throughout the industry. Job loss in financial activities has slowed since the beginning of the year. Employment in the industry has declined by 537,000 since the start of the recession.

Wholesale trade employment fell by 17,000 in August. Employment in information continued to trend down over the month.

Employment in the retail trade industry was little changed in August.  Employment also was little changed in professional and business services over the month. From May through August, monthly employment declines in the sector averaged 46,000, compared with 138,000 per month from November through April. Job loss in its temporary help services component has slowed markedly over the last 4 months.

Employment was little changed in August both in transportation and warehousing, and in leisure and hospitality.

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One Response to “African American Unemployment Rate Hits 23 Year High, Healthcare Job Growth Continues”

  1. […] (D) district] people will be negative 8 percent”), a community enduring enormous unemployment (over 15% last August) , appallingly poor education, and seeing no way out as long as the economy is as bad as Harry […]

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