Black people make up 90% of those unemployed since April, according to a new study.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report July 7 that shows unemployment remains low at 3.6% overall. And employment continues to trend upward in government, health care and construction. However, the Black unemployment rate rose in June for the second straight month, and Black Americans constitute a staggering number of new jobless cases.
Black people make up roughly 267,000 of the 300,000 new unemployment cases since April, the Bureau found. (Bloomberg and The Hill confirm those findings.) And Black unemployment now stands at 6% — more than double the rate of whites (3.1%.)
The reasons for this are unclear, though the Los Angeles Times suggests it may be a reflection of demand: Black workers are “often the first to lose jobs when demand for workers eases,” said Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.
If so, that demand dropped rapidly: just two months ago, Black jobless rates stood at just 4.7% — the lowest on record. That followed a period where general unemployment was the lowest since 1969 (!). But things have changed dramatically since then. It’s unclear whether this is a sign of things to come or whether this is indicative of a larger trend. Did Steve Harvey and Nick Cannon snap up all the available jobs? Or is a seemingly red-hot economy starting to cool?