Despite positive jobs report, Black unemployment still 86 percent higher than national average

Although statistics show more people are working, factors that have always plagued the African American community are resulting in a much higher rate of unemployment for Blacks

Darias Brown speaks to a recruiter at a job fair in Chicago. At 3.6 percent, the overall April unemployment rate is at its lowest since 1969, but among Blacks it's 6.7 percent, 86 percent higher than the national average. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

While data shows the unemployment rates in the United States are at the lowest since December 1969, the rate specifically attributed to Black Americans is higher than almost any other group in the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its “Employment Situation” data, revealing the nation’s April 2019 unemployment rate is 3.6% and new jobs to the economy total at 263,000, however, the unemployment rate for Black citizens in America is 6.7%. The number places the group at 86% higher than the rate for all adults, according to financial website 24/7 Wall Street.

In comparison to other races, the rate for April is 116% higher than Whites and 204% higher than Asians. The only rate in which Black Americans have a better number is teenagers who are at 13%.

24/7 Wall Street reported the rate unemployment rate for Blacks has not seen any significant shift in more than a year, but instead has slightly shifted up and down.

Ironically, President Trump has often boasted about the Black unemployment rate being its lowest. “Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!” he tweeted in January 2018.

But statistical factors show that the president has little to brag about.

It is believed the differences in the unemployment rate are a result of Black unemployment in large urban populations being higher than the rate across the nation which inflates the average. That fact is cited by Detroit’s data showing 80% of the population is Black, while the city has an unemployment rate that is well above the national average.

Additional factors include the number of Black Americans in prison. In 2016, per 100,000 Black Americans, 1,609 were incarcerated, in comparison to 274 for White Americans. After the time is served, it becomes complicated to secure employment due to criminal background checks causing resistance from employers.

Segregation is also a source of the problem, due to a disproportionate number of Blacks not having access to the best schools and housing.

Even in comparison to figures around the recession, the Black unemployment rate is still high. The 2002 recession showed the worst rate of employment at 6%. Currently, there are no signs that that the unemployment rate among Black Americans will be lowered to the national average, 24/7 Wall Street said.