The Labor Department released its April jobs report Friday morning (May 3), highlighting a slight drop in the overall unemployment rate. With the rate dropping to 7.5 percent from 7.6 percent in March, jobless numbers for the African-American community remain at a sobering 13.2 percent.
In April, 165,000 jobs were added to the economy, a small improvement over the 138,000 jobs added a month prior. While this figure shattered economic predictions, hiring only seems to be happening for just one segment of the overall population: Women workers, with their unemployment rate at 6.7 percent, were the largest number of job seekers to become employed in April.
Yet, Black job seekers aren’t the only group to feel the unemployment crunch.
Adult men (7.1 percent), teenagers (24.1 percent), Whites (6.7 percent), Hispanics (9.0 percent), and Asians (5.1 percent) all saw little change in their numbers when compared with the Labor Department’s past statistics. The largest boon to the workforce happened in restaurants and bars, which added 38,000 jobs and retailers, which had the next highest number of hires with 29,000.
Sequestration also played a factor in this most-recent jobs report, with 11,000 federal, state, and local government workers losing their jobs due to budget constraints and other factors.
In all, 11.7 million people are out of work, a staggering rate when compared to the unemployment rate sitting at 4.5 percent before the recession shattered the economy.
Out of necessity, part-time work is the only part of the workforce showing the strongest improvement, with many workers forced to take piecemeal jobs to make ends meet.
The report reveals that Blacks and Hispanics are hardest hit by joblessness, signaling a fact well-known in those communities that jobs for those groups are harder to come by.
Although this disparity has been documented in detail over the years, little has been done to address the wide gap between Whites and people of color in today’s job market.
Read the details of the Labor Department’s jobs report here.