Part 2: The demographics of the unemployed – June 4th

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Part 2: The demographics of the unemployed – June 4th   

Bottom Line: The demos of the unemployed tell a much more instructive story about what's really going on in our labor market. As I do monthly, here are the government reported unemployment rates and my adjusted rate based on demographics:          

  • Asians: 2.1% (down .7% - record low)    

  • White: 3.5% (down.1%   

  • Hispanic: 4.9% (up .1%   

  • Black: 5.9% (down .7% - record low   

Here are the adjusted rates once you factor in the long-term unemployed, underemployed and marginally attached workers:            

  • Asians: 4.2%         

  • White: 7%          

  • Hispanic: 9.8%          

  • Black: 11.8%          

This storyline is the best of all in what was already an extremely impressive story. Here's your headline. Record low unemployment for black and Asian adults! And the gains weren't marginal. The monthly decreases in unemployment for black adults are also the best I've ever seen. This means that we're meaningfully seeing jobs make their way into the communities of greatest need in this country. Everybody benefits when this happens. Lower crime, better economy, wage growth pressures, you name it. 

Only Hispanic unemployment didn't improve in May and while we need to continue to make progress there as well we had been at historic lows last month so we're continuing to see just about the best labor market for Hispanics on record.  

There's a lot to like and this is a reminder of why I breakout all of these stories. It'd be easy to overlook news like this when just looking at basic averages and numbers for the report. Obviously, we continue to see the huge disconnects in the labor market based on demographics. Consider that the unemployment rate is 281% higher for blacks than Asians for example and you see the view of the possible. In the third part of today's employment story we'll explore the fun stuff...how much more money we're making...    

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