Overall Unemployment Rate Down To 5.5%, But Rate Of Jobless Blacks Remains Unchanged

March 6, 2015  |  

It’s lookin’ real good out there for job hunters. The economy is showing signs of rejuvenation with more than 250,000 jobs injected into the market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate, Business Insider reports, dipped from 5.7 percent to 5.5 percent.

The total number of unemployed Americans dropped from 9 million to 8.7 million, and the jobless rate is the lowest it has been since May 2008.

For 12 consecutive months, the economy has been adding at least 200,000 jobs each month. And over the past three months, job gains averaged 288,000 per month. Not bad!

The job gains sprouted from food and drinking sectors, business and professional services, construction, transportation, warehousing and healthcare. Other major industries, such as wholesale trade, information, government, and financial activities, saw inconsequential change over the month of February.

Zooming in on African-Americans however, the jobless rate stubbornly remained at 10.4 percent, according to Consumer AffairsA recent New York Times article even noted that “simply being black makes it harder to find a job.” Progress in employment for Blacks, the NYT adds, can happen if hindering barriers are knocked down:

“It is possible stronger growth would have even larger benefits for black workers, by eroding the importance of the various structural obstacles that have historically made it harder for them to find jobs.”

The NYT also points out that Black workers’ resumes, on average, are less competitive because they’re more likely to have been incarcerated — this can be attributed to living in lower-income communities where it’s much easier to have a run-in with law enforcement.

“Living in these places may also make it harder for workers to obtain a good education.”

The unemployment rate for other major groups, white (five percent), Asians (four percent) and Hispanics (seven percent) remained stagnant as well — except for teenagers. Adolescents saw their jobless rate dip down by 1.7 percentage points to 17.1 percent in February.

The average hourly earnings for all workers on private payrolls rose by three pennies to $24.78.

January’s jobs report, for comparison, initially reported an addition of 257,000 jobs, but that figure has since been revised to 237,000.

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