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Black unemployment falls to a record low



Unemployment for black workers dropped to 5.5% from 6%, according to Labor Department data. The previous record low of 5.9% was set in May 2018.

The unemployment rate for black women fell to a record 4.4% from 5.2% in July. The unemployment rate for black men crept up to 5.9% from 5.8%. But last month's interest rate was a record, so the rate is still near the historic low.

Unemployment among workers who identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino also fell to 4.2% in August, which was a record low earlier this year.

Minority unemployment has been tracked by the Labor Department since the early 1

970s. Both black and Latin American or Latino unemployment have traditionally been higher than white unemployment, and it still is today. White unemployment was 3.4% in August, up from 3.3% previously. But this is the smallest gap in the record between the respective unemployment rates for blacks and whites.

Overall, the US unemployment rate was 3.7%, unchanged from last month.
  United States Employment Brake. Economy laid 130,000 jobs in August

The record low unemployment rate for African Americans is undeniably good news, said Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute's Race, Ethnicity and Economics Program. She warned that the monthly figures for different racial groups' unemployment may be unstable, although she said the less unstable years have also improved. She attributed the improvement to the extended strength of the US labor market. Employers have added jobs for 107 months and unemployment across the country is close to a 50-year low.

"As jobs continue to be created, those who are still looking for work, those as minorities with historically higher unemployment, are those in a position to take advantage of these opportunities," she said.

But the participation rate for minority workers is not as high as it used to be, so the percentage of the total black population with jobs is not quite as high as the last employment boom around the turn of the century. By then, more than 60% of African American adults had jobs, reaching the record 61.4% in March 2000. In August, it was a few percentage points lower at 58.8%.

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