The demographics of the unemployed – September

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Part 2 - The demographics of the unemployed – September  

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: 3%       
  • White: 3.4%   
  • Hispanic: 4.7%  
  • Black: 6.3%     

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

  • Asians: 5.7% (improved)            
  • White: 6.5% (flat)        
  • Hispanic: 8.9% (worse)             
  • Black: 12% (improved)             

A month after hitting a new record low unemployment rate for Hispanics, we saw a bit of an uptick in Hispanic unemployment but otherwise this report was extremely positive with black unemployment rate back to touching it’s record lows reached in the Spring. That being said when we have a real unemployment rate that’s still in double-digits, it illustrates the point that even in the best jobs economy in a generation and one of the best ever still leaves us with work to do in many minority majority communities. In April we reached an all-time low for black unemployment. It’s likely that progress made from here will be more difficult to achieve but would be most meaningful to these communities.   

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 disconnects in the labor market based on demographics and it paints a picture of where and with whom we generally need to be focusing efforts going forward. 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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