Black-White employment gaps drag on

Since the recession dropped Black women’s employment rates below White women’s, the new gap persists. And for men it’s widening.

When last we checked, Black women had an employment rate about 1% lower than White women, which was a reversal of their status before the recession. No progress to report.

The news on unemployment doesn’t dwell on this disparity, maybe (charitably) since it’s such old news. As of September, both groups are trending downward, and the gap is 0.7%.

Source: My chart from BLS data.

In contrast, Black men had lower employment rates before the recession (62% v. 72% in October 2008). But the drop has still been greater for Black men.

Source: My chart from BLS data.

Note that, given the uncertainty in unemployment benefits and the propensity to be discouraged during the jobless recovery, I prefer to follow employment rates rather than unemployment (officially searching) rates.

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