Black unemployment just fell to a 7-year low

Fusion, data via BLS

The unemployment rate for African-Americans fell to 9.6 percent in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

It's the first time that rate has been below 10 percent since June of 2008.

It's also the first time the black-white unemployment rate gap has been less than five percentage points since July 2008. White unemployment was unchanged for the third-straight month at 4.7 percent.


Here's the chart.

Meanwhile, the black labor force participation rate — the ratio of unemployed and employed workers to the working-age population — climbed back to 62 percent for the first time in five years.


Among young adults, the labor force participation rate among 20-24 year-olds fell to a 44-year low of 69.5 percent.


Overall, the U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in April, and the national unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent, and the labor force participation rate climbed slightly to 62.8 percent from 62.7 percent.

But March and February jobs numbers were revised downward, and average hourly earnings growth picked up just 0.1 percent point.


"Any lingering possibility of a June rate hike from the Fed is now off the table, with September probably the most likely lift-off date now," Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist for Capital Economics, said in a note.

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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