The African-American unemployment rate rose from 13.5 percent in May to 13.7 percent in June, according to figures released by the U.S. Labor Department. The national unemployment rate held steady at 7.6 percent. In addition, the economy added 195,000 jobs that month, a significantly higher than the 165,000 a Bloomberg survey of economists had estimated.
The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that for the week ending June 29, 343,000 people filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 348,000. In addition, the total number of people filing initial claims for state unemployment benefits was 333,920, compared to 369,826 claims in the comparable week in 2012.
ADP had predicted in its monthly report that private sector jobs grew by 188,000 in June. The estimate was much more optimistic than it has been in the past two months.
"It's quite encouraging that the job market is navigating through the fiscal headwinds — I have to say quite gracefully," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, which co-produces the ADP report. "I would have expected that by this time the fiscal headwinds of the tax increases and government spending cuts, including the sequester, would be doing more damage to the job market."
Bob Johnson, chairman of the RLJ Companies and founder of Black Entertainment Television, continued to call on the private sector to do its part to decrease the African-American unemployment rate, which is nearly double the national rate.
“Demographic trends clearly indicate that minorities are quickly becoming the largest employee pool and consumer base in the United States and with this, corporate America should view diversity as a business imperative, no less important than financial performance, succession planning and shareholder relations," Johnson told BET.com. "I am encouraging companies to voluntarily adopt a policy that I call the RLJ Rule, which, if implemented properly, is designed to further enhance a company’s already established commitment to diversity and inclusion.”
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(Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)