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white house unemployment report

The White House has released a report discussing the most-recent unemployment numbers from the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, and the African-American unemployment rate, is one of the groups to see a decrease.

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Even though long-term unemployment remains elevated, it has somewhat subsided for historically marginalized groups, with the African-American rate reportedly decreasing .5 percent from November (12.4 percent) to December (11.9 percent). Below is the unemployment decrease African Americans experienced for the year 2013:

Unemployment rates…declined over the course of 2013 for women (1.3 percentage points), teenagers (3.8 percentage points), African-Americans (2.1 percentage points), and Hispanics (1.2 percentage points). Similarly, since the overall unemployment rate peaked at 10.0 percent in October 2009, these rates have all shown marked declines.

The White House also reported that unemployment fell 5 percentage points between March 2010, when it was at a shocking 16.9 percent, to now.

Included in the report are also five key points about the most-recent job market. The first one notes that America’s businesses have added jobs for 46 months in a row, with employment increasing by 8.2 million during that time frame.

Private employment has also risen by an average of 177,000 jobs per month over the last three months. Still, the report notes:

Policymakers should be doing everything they can to speed job creation. The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that extending the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program through 2014 would lead to an additional 240,000 jobs over the course of the year, because the benefits sustain the purchasing power of recipients who support local businesses and their suppliers.

In addition, the overall unemployment rate dropped to 6.7 percent in December — the lowest it has been since October 2008 — however, there is also a lingering elevation in the unemployment rate due to a large number of people who went jobless for more than 27 weeks last year:

Persons unemployed for 26 weeks or less represent 4.1 percent of the labor force, in line with the average during the 2001-2007 expansion period (4.2 percent). In contrast, although long-term unemployment has been falling steadily as the economic recovery continues, the long-term unemployment rate is still two-and-a-half times what it was during the 2000s expansion.

The number of unemployed workers receiving job benefits is set to reach record lows, a key issue the report focused on. From a 12-month period ending last November, 26 percent of jobless workers received benefits. That is 10 percentage points down from 1986 through our most-recent recession in December 2007.

Even with those gains, unemployment rates are still higher than before the 2007 recession, a problem “underscoring that it is critical not just to take steps to speed the recovery but also to ensure that growth is inclusive and hardworking Americans are not left behind.”

The report notes that while the jobless rate steadily declined through December, more needs to be done:

As our economy continues to make progress, there’s a lot more work to do. Though December’s job growth was less than expected, we continue to focus on the longer-term trend in the economy – 2.2 million private sector jobs added and a 1.2 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate over the course of 2013. Today’s numbers are also a reminder of the work that remains, especially on one of our nation’s most immediate and pressing challenges: long-term unemployment.

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