Black women’s employment gap update

Globe and Mail: U.S. sheds 85,000 jobs

When I reported on the economic travails of Black women I included a graph showing the greater employment losses for Black women than White women in the recession.

The December employment report, out today, appears to confirm the still-widening gap in employment losses between Black and White women. I didn’t report on this in November, which is just as well – as you can see from the graph, November looks odd, maybe odd enough to be a simple error on the BLS’s part.

My graph from BLS monthly data (seasonally adjusted).

I do not have an explanation for this. I wish those who have the power to figure these things out would pay more attention to it – and explain it to the rest of us. The numbers are right there for all to see. Black women have lost 4 percentage points of employment, compared with 2.1 points for White women. And that puts White women’s employment rate higher than Black women’s for the first time since the 1990s.


Filed under In the news

4 responses to “Black women’s employment gap update

  1. Simple, when in doubt, fire the black woman. What, that was hard.


  2. OK let me break it down for you. White males make enough to provide for family, wife works for pleasure. In hard economic times, or times of stress, black women get fired over white women. IMHO


  3. Michael Bishop

    well for starters we’d want to adjust for geography, occupation, industry…


    • Depends. To see if there might be racist firing you’d want to start controlling for things – but that’s comparing counterfactuals. The unadjusted numbers are real life, how many people are actually, factually employed.


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