Black Employment Up, Up, Up Under Trump

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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The unemployment rate, labor participation rate and overall employment for black Americans appears to be improving under President Donald Trump, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment data.

The unemployment rate for black Americans has fallen one percentage point since July 2016, falling from 8.4 percent to 7.4 percent in July 2017. In the president’s first 7 months in office, the unemployment rate for said group dropped from 8.0 in March 2017 to 7.4 in July.

The participation rate for black American workers is up one percent since March 2017, and the number of black Americans with a job is up roughly 700,000.

Black Americans were one of the hardest hit groups during the Great Recession and throughout much of former President Barack Obama’s two-terms in office. The unemployment rate for this group was 13.7 when Obama took office in 2009, reaching a height of 16.8 in March 2010.

When Obama left office, however, the unemployment rate for black Americans fell to just under 8 percent. Yet, incomes for black Americans fell more during the Obama presidency, from 2009 to 2014, than any other racial or ethnic group, The Hill reported.

While the figures show marked improvement in employment for black Americans in Trump’s first 7 months of office, his remarks after the Charlottesville, Va., protests are likely to overshadow these figures.

Trump faced an onslaught of negative press and attacks from congressional Republicans Monday, who said the president did not do enough to specifically call out the perpetrators of the Charlottesville protests over the weekend. The protests ended in injuries and one death, after a car driven by a white supremacist barreled into a crowd Saturday afternoon during clashes between white supremacists, Black Lives Matter, Antifa and other groups.

The president said in the wake of the protests Monday that he condemned violence on “many sides,” but failed to call out white supremacist groups. Trump amended his comments Tuesday afternoon, saying that he thinks there is “blame on both sides.”

Trump’s responses Monday and Tuesday have not been enough to quell the backlash from media, congressmen and leaders in the business community.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell responded Wednesday to the president’s statements, fully condemning all acts of violence committed in Charlottesville and denouncing white supremacists and racist groups by name. McConnell was outwardly upset with the president for failing to immediately condemn the acts of racism and violence committed in the protests. (RELATED: McConnell Upset Over Trump’s Charlottesville Response)

Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina joined McConnell’s Wednesday dissent against the president’s treatment of the protests.

Chief executives from top U.S. companies dropped out of and eventually disbanded the president’s Manufacturing, Strategy and Policy Forum councils Wednesday afternoon in response to the president’s remarks. (RELATED: Trump Disbands Business Advisory Councils)

The president announced he was ending both councils Wednesday afternoon, but not before both groups of executives independently decided to break up.

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