Unemployment Rate For Black Women Rises In January

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 02/06/2015 | 11:30 AM EST

Black Americans overall continue to suffer in the job market

While the national unemployment rate remains relatively low and stable, for African-American women the numbers are quite bleak.

The rate of unemployment for women of color rose in the month of January to 8.7 percent, up from 8.2 percent in December 2014, according to the monthly jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Still, the current unemployment rate is quite the improvement from months prior where it hit as high as 9.5 percent.

The U.S. added a modest 257,000 jobs in January. Of those jobs, 8,824 went to Black women.


But where women of color suffer, Black men endure even greater with an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent for the month of January. However, that figure is down from 11 percent in December 2014. Of the jobs created last month, 7,757 went to African-American men.

Despite such disheartening numbers, it’s important to note that the unemployment rate calculation only counts those Americans who are unemployed and looking for a job. Therefore, there are countless others who are jobless and not actively pursuing employment through the U.S. Department of Labor.

Considering that, the true number of Black Americans who are either not a part of or shut out of the job market is uncertain.

The overall unemployment rate for African-Americans sits at 10.3 percent, which is teetering to more than double the national rate. Historically, this has remained a trend in the labor force among Blacks and minority communities. Since the government started tracking unemployment data by race, the unemployment rate for Black Americans has never been lower than that of white Americans, according to the Washington Post. In fact, Black Americans are the only group besides teenagers with an unemployment rate over 10 percent.

Having a Black president, as many like to argue, hasn’t changed that trend either.

“If you look at the change in the unemployment rate compared to when Obama took office, you can see that unemployment among Hispanics has, in fact, dropped the most. Unemployment among blacks -- always the highest -- has dropped the least,” the Post reports.

(Photo: michaeljung / Getty Images)

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