Job growth could help Black men find work

January’s jobs rose by 517,000, and the unemployment rate changed little at 3.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last Friday. The number of jobs created was higher than economists predicted, constituting a 53-year high.

Job growth was widespread, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care. Employment also increased in government.

The unemployment rate for Black workers dropped to a near-all-time low, although at 5.4 percent  (the rate for Black women was 4.7 percent), it remains higher compared with other ethnic groups, said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates were as follows: for adult men (3.2 percent), adult women (3.1 percent), teenagers (10.3 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks (men 5.4 percent unemployment), Asians (2.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.5 percent). All rates showed little change in January.

In January, both the labor force participation rate, at 62.4 percent, and the employment-population ratio, at 60.2 percent, were unchanged after removing the effects of the annual adjustments to the population controls.