The demographics of the unemployed – April 2019 

The demographics of the unemployed – April 2019 

Bottom Line: The demos of the unemployed tell a much more specific 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: 3.1% 
  • White: 3.4% 
  • Hispanic: 4.7% 
  • Black: 6.7%

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

  • Asians: 6% (flat) 
  • White: 6.5% (higher)             
  • Hispanic: 9% (higher)                
  • Black: 12.9% (lower)   

It’s a mixed bag. The bad news is that unemployment rates ticked up a touch for Hispanic and white adults but dropped where we need to make the most progress with black adults. Not ideal but decent. The progress with black adults also gets us back to near record low unemployment rates which we’ve hit three times over the past year. It’d be great if we could take that next step and breakout to new record low unemployment in minority communities. 

One constant that remains...despite the record setting progress we’ve made in minority employment over the past year, there’s still progress needed in many communities. We still have unemployment rates for black adults that are more than double Asians. 

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.



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