Unemployment Rates Decline for Every Demographic Except Black Women

Unemployment rates decline for nearly every demographic

Credit: AP Photo/Nick Ut, File

The job market has been making a steady recovery over the past year, but while unemployment rates have declined for every demographic, African-American women are still struggling to find jobs.

According to a recent report by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), which analyzed the latest jobs data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, Black women make up the only demographic that did not see a decline in its unemployment rates.

Despite the stagnant rate for Black women, the overall unemployment rate dropped from 7.2 percent to 6.1 percent between August 2013 and August 2014, according to the report.

Women’s unemployment dropped from 6.2 percent to 5.7 percent.

Unemployment for Black men fell by 2.6 percentage points – taking the rate from 13.4 percent to 10.8 percent.

For Black women, however, the rate remained at 10.6 percent.

The vice president for family economic security at the NWLC, Joan Entmacher, referred to the statistics as a “red flag.”

Entmacher even compared education levels across each of the demographics and discovered that even when only considering adults with bachelor’s degrees, unemployment rates for Black women remained high and unchanged.

African-American Women Unemployment Rates The troubling statistics warrant a closer look at what’s happening in the job market, and Entmacher believes she has found one of the many factors that could be causing this trend.

Entmacher explained that African-American women are disproportionately employed in the public sector, but it’s the private sector that has been bouncing back and offering more jobs lately.

“Public sector jobs are slower to recover because public policy has been to cut or freeze funding for all levels of government over the past few years,” Entmacher said. “After the recovery began, there was an emphasis on reducing the deficit and shrinking the government at a time when that was really damaging the economy.”

Entmacher hopes that politicians will step in to “promote a stronger – and more widely shared – recovery” in the job market.

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