Black Unemployment Rate Rises Despite Declines for All Other Groups

Black Unemployment Rate Rises Despite Declines for All Other Groups

The Black unemployment rate climbed in February even as most other Americans saw a decline in joblessness, underscoring that the labor-market recovery remains uneven one year after the pandemic began.

The unemployment rate for Black Americans rose to 9.9%, the highest among all race groups tracked, the Labor Department said Friday. The overall U.S. jobless rate fell to 6.2% and White, Hispanic and Asian-American workers saw declines, the data show.

Black Unemployment Rate Rises Despite Declines for All Other Groups

Pandemic job losses have disproportionately impacted minorities, which is something policy makers are watching closely as the economy recovers. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Thursday said that it will take more than a low jobless rate to get to so-called maximum unemployment and that the central bank will be looking at a variety of indicators when assessing the labor market’s health.

In February, the Asian-American unemployment rate fell to 5.1% and joblessness also improved for women, who made up the bulk of payroll gains. Hispanic unemployment fell to 8.5%.

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