The Department of Labor has released updated employment numbers, and during the month of May the overall unemployment rate has risen from 5.4 to 5.5 percent nationally.
Although economists are not concerned by this uptick, citing the fact that as summer hits, more people are looking for jobs, more concerning is the continuing rise in unemployment for African-Americans.
While the unemployment rate for whites rose from 4.4 to 4.5 percent, the rise for African-Americans was much greater, jumping from 8.9 to 10.0. This despite the fact that 280,000 jobs were added to the economy in May.
There was also a greater disparity between the genders for the unemployment rate. The rate for white women rising from 3.9 to 4.2 percent, while the rate for white males actually decreased from 4.2 to 4.1 percent. And while the rate for African-American women rose from 8.1 to 8.2 percent, African-American men saw a much greater rise, from 8.7 to 10.5 percent.
What’s more, although wages have risen 2.3 percent since this time last year, this rise is still barely keeping up with inflation, which lessens the impact of increased wages. In addition, first quarter productivity numbers showed a greater-than-anticipated annual drop of 3.1 percent, and a steadier rise in pay looks less and less likely.
You can view more details on the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor here.
The Associated Press contributed to this post.