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Black women see unemployment rate drop, still slow in recovery

Passengers arrive at Grand Central Station with Metro-North during the morning rush hour in New York City.

Angela Weiss | AFP | beautiful pictures

The unemployment rate for black women fell sharply in November, but the labor market recovery from before the pandemic remains uneven across genders and races.

While the headline number for Job growth was lower than expected in November, the overall US worker unemployment rate fell from 4.6% in October to 4.2% last month, the Labor Department reported Friday.

For black women, the employment picture even shows a significant improvement. The unemployment rate for Black women fell from 7% to 5% in November – the largest drop when compared with other gender and racial groups in the jobs report.

And while Black women left the workforce in November, the employment-to-population ratio of Black women rose last month. That’s signaling a drop in unemployment, economists say, possibly because job seekers gain more gigs than workers leave the workforce.

Black men also saw an improvement in employment last month with the unemployment rate falling from 8.3% to 7.3% in November.

“This is the first time that Black workforce participation has been rewarded with real job growth,” said William Spriggs, chief economist at the AFL-CIO and Howard University professor. “The fact that Black workers are now showing greater success in their searches – that’s good news.”

The improvement in the Black unemployment rate in November was particularly notable as the labor market’s recovery for black Americans has lagged behind other groups throughout the pandemic.

However, Spriggs points out, the unemployment rate for workers without a high school diploma fell from 7.4% to 5.7% in November, lower than the unemployment rate for black workers in all regions. education level is 6.7%.

“Yes, employers end up hiring Black workers. They’re still the last in the queue,” Spriggs said.

When looking at overall employment compared to pre-pandemic levels, Black women are far behind. Black women’s employment in November was still 4.2 percent lower than in February 2020, while total U.S. employment was 2.2 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels.

“The pace of recovery has not been uniform. This has been a month in which the unemployment rate for black women in particular has fallen dramatically,” said Valerie Wilson, director at the Economic Policy Institute. “Otherwise, we continue to see known and established disparities in unemployment.”

Nicole Mason, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Research and Policy, said that female-dominated industries have been slow to recover jobs lost during the pandemic.

For example, the retail industry lost more than 20,000 jobs in November even though most sectors post job growth.

“We’ve seen tremendous job growth in male-dominated sectors like construction, manufacturing and transportation, but in women-owned sectors everything is fine,” Mason said. quite stagnant or we lose our jobs.

Plus, Covid continues to impact job recovery, especially as Americans watch developed with new variant Covid omicron.

“There’s a lot that depends on our public health response and how quickly we can address that so that the economy can fully recover and that recovery will be,” Wilson said. accessible to everyone”.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/03/november-jobs-report-black-women-see-unemployment-rate-fall-still-behind-in-recovery.html Black women see unemployment rate drop, still slow in recovery

Sunbiz

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