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Black jobless rate was 15.4 percent in June


But more economic distress is on the horizon with an increased spread of Covid-19


The Black unemployment rate in June was 15.4 percent, down from 16.8 percent in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week.

The jobless rate for Black men, 20 and older, however, rose to 16.3 percent in June compared with 15.5 percent in May, BLS reported. However, the unemployment rate for Black women improved to 14.0 percent compared with to 16.5 percent in May.

Overall, the U.S. nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4.8 million in June, an increase from 2.7 million in May.

But, because so many jobs were lost in March and April, we are still 14.7 million jobs below where we were in

Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute

February, before the pandemic spread, writes Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, and Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based think

Heidi Shierholz, senior economist and director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute


In June, jobs were added due to many states continuing to lift their stay at home requirements.

Job gains occurred primarily in leisure and hospitality, an increase of 2.1 million, a significant share of the overall rise of 4.8 million. The unemployment rate fell as well, from 13.3% in May to 11.1% in June. At 11.1%, the unemployment rate remains higher than in the worst month of the Great Recession, when it hit 10.0% in 2009.

Hires are up because states relaxed their stay-at-home orders concerning pandemic. But more economic pain is on the horizon because the latest coronavirus data shows that the relaxed restrictions on social distancing also had the effect of increased cases leading to some states pausing re-openings. In Florida and Texas, Covid-19 cases are spreading. Texas surpassed 200,000 Covid-19 cases over the July 4 holiday.

Losses in public-sector employment will affect Black workers more, particularly Black women, Gould and Shierholz wrote. That’s because Black women have the highest share of jobs in the public sector.

Black women employed in the public jobs sector

















The Black unemployment rate is much higher compared with other racial and ethnic groups.

BLS reported that the jobless rate for Hispanics was 14.5 percent and jobless rate for Asians was 13.8 percent. For Whites, the jobless rate was 10.1 percent. For white men, the unemployment rate was 9.0 percent.




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