The August unemployment rate was 5.1 % for a seven-year low, but the jobless rate for African-Americans went in the opposite direction, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The unemployment rate for blacks was 9.5% in August, up from 9.1% in July, BLS reported. The jobless rate for black men 20 years old and older in August was 9.2%, compared to 8.8% the month before.
The unemployment rate in August for black women 20 years old and older was 8.1%, compared to 8.0% in July.
The jobless rate among blacks remains much higher compared with other major worker groups. The August unemployment rate for whites was 4.4% and for Asians it was 3.5%. Hispanics’ August unemployment rate was 6.6%, BLS reported.
The nation’s businesses added 173,000 jobs in August as job gains occurred in health care, social assistance and financial activities. Manufacturing and mining shed jobs.
Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, said the economy is still not adding jobs fast enough and the recovery is not creating strong enough wage growth.
Gould added, “While it’s best not to read too much into one month’s data, this brings average monthly growth down to 212,000 so far in 2015. The year 2014 saw faster jobs growth: an average of 260,000 on a monthly basis. By this measure alone, we aren’t seeing an accelerating recovery. In fact, at this slower rate of growth, a full jobs recovery is still two years away.”