Black women see unemployment rate fall, still behind in recovery
Commuters use Metro-North to get to Grand Central Station during the morning rush hour in New York City.
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While Black women’s unemployment rate fell in November, it remains high for Black women. However, labor market recovery has not been complete from levels pre-pandemic.
Although the headline figure for job growth came in lower than expected in NovemberThe Labor Department reports that the overall unemployment rate among U.S. workers fell from 4.6% to 4.2% in October, down from 5.6% last month.
Even more improvement was seen for Black women in terms of their employment prospects. The unemployment rate for Black women fell from 7% to 5% in November — the largest drop when compared with other race and gender groups in the jobs report.
While Black women left the workforce last November, their employment rate to the population rose in October. Economists believe that this indicates the decline in the unemployment rate could be due to the fact that more people are looking for work than the workers who have left the workforce.
Black men saw an increase in their employment rate last month, with it falling to 7.3% from 8.3% in November.
William Spriggs (chief economist at the AFL-CIO, Howard University Professor) stated that this is the first instance where Black labor force participation has been rewarded by actual job growth. “The fact that Black workers are now showing greater success in their searches — that’s good news.”
This is especially notable given that Black Americans have suffered a slower recovery in their labor markets since the beginning of the pandemic.
Spriggs noted that the unemployment rate among workers who do not have a high school diploma dropped to 7.4% from 5.7% in November. This is lower than the 6.7% rate for Black workers.
Black employees are being hired by employers. Spriggs stated that they are still in the back of the line.
Black women are farthest behind when it comes to overall employment levels compared with the pre-pandemic level. Black women’s employment was 4.2% less than February 2020. However, total U.S. employment was 2.2% below pre-pandemic levels.
The pace of recovery remains uneven. Valerie Wilson, an executive director of the Economic Policy Institute said that there was a month when we saw a notable drop in unemployment rates in Black women. We continue to observe the existing and well-established disparities in unemployment rates.
Nicole Mason, the president and CEO at the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research said that industries with a majority of female workers are slow to recover lost jobs during the pandemic.
In November, for example, more than 22,000 jobs were lost in the retail sector. most sectors posted job growth.
Mason explained that Mason believes there has been a tremendous increase in job opportunities in sectors dominated by men like manufacturing, transportation and construction. However, in sectors dominated by women Mason claimed, “Things are very stagnant in these sectors or we have lost jobs.”
Covid is still a factor in job recovery. This is especially true when Americans keep an eye on it. developments with the new Covid omicron variant.
Wilson stated that much depends on how fast we can address public health issues so the economy can recover fully and reach everyone.