Unemployment Rates for Latinos and Blacks Still at Record Highs

By Sandra G. Leon

New data released on Friday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that overall unemployment decreased in July, but rates for Latinos and Blacks remain stubbornly higher than that of Asians and especially White workers.

Latino unemployment increased 1.6% from 14.5% to 12.9% and jobless workers among Blacks decreased by less than 1% from 15.4 to 14.5%. Asians saw a the largest drop of 1.8% from 13.8% to 12%.

Although unemployment among White workers dropped only 0.9%, it is the lowest of all the racial groups with a total unemployment of 9.2%, or 5.3% lower than Blacks and 3.7% lower than Latinos.

The overall unemployment rate fell from 11.1% to 10.2%, down from the 12.7% high in April which was the highest level of unemployment in the US since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The BLS reported that 1.8 million non-farming jobs were added in July, the third straight month of job increases since the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the economy. The report also finds that US employment still remains nearly 13 million jobs below the levels in February.

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