Black Unemployment Rate Hits 13.4 Percent

Published March 6, 2009

The latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics signals a disturbing trend in the Black community. The numbers from the month of February show that about 13.4 percent of Blacks are currently unemployed, up from 12.6 percent in January.

The figure is about 5 percent higher than the national unemployment rate and the highest among race and ethnic groups, although each group saw an increase.  

The Hispanic unemployment rate sits at 10.9 percent, up from 9.7 percent in January; the Asian unemployment rate is 6.9 percent, up from 6.2 percent; and the White unemployment rate is now 7.3 percent, up from 6.9 percent.  Overall, the national employment rate jumped to 8.1 percent in February from 7.6 percent in January – its highest rate in more than 25 years.

All in all, about 12.5 million people in the United States were unemployed last month.

The growing problem hasn’t gone unnoticed by President Barack Obama’s administration, which approved an economic stimulus package last month that is meant to slash the unemployment rate and create new jobs, reports The Washington Post.

Obama spoke about the plan in front of a group of new police officers in Ohio Friday morning. “So many of you have been watching jobs disappear since even before this recession began,” he said. “That is not a future I accept for the United States of America…Throughout our history we have met every great challenge through bold action and big ideas…We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our children to do it again.”

Any positive effects from the stimulus package, however, are not likely to be seen for months after the current allocations.

Written by BET.com News Staff

COMMENTS

Latest in news