Black Unemployment Rate Dropped To Lowest Levels Since 1972

Amber Randall | Civil Rights Reporter

Black unemployment dropped to 6.8 percent in December 2017, a rate not seen since the 1970s, according to Friday statistics from the Department of Labor.

The 6.8 percent unemployment rate for black or African Americans has not been seen since 1972 when the Bureau of Labor Statistics first began tracking their unemployment rate in the United States, reports CNBC.

The bureau has tracked the unemployment rate for black Americans at age 16 or older for the past 45 years and the rate has never fallen below 7 percent during that time period. The black unemployment rate was still significantly higher than other racial groups in December: whites had a 3.7 percent unemployment rate, compared to Asian American’s unemployment rate at 2.5 percent. Hispanic Americans had an unemployment rate of 4.9 percent.

Black Americans seems to be doing better job-wise under the current administration. During the Great Recession and the Obama administration, black Americans suffered from a 13.7 percent unemployment rate when former President Barack Obama came into office and reached up to 16.8 percent about two years into his term.

Overall, about 480,000 black Americans got new jobs in 2017, compared to the 1.2 million of white Americans who received new employment last year.

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