Jobless Rate for Hispanic, Black Workers at Historic Low

The low joblessness among to two groups is a sign that the recovery is finally reaching those that experienced a tougher recession than white and Asian workers.
Jobless Rate

The unemployment rate for Hispanic or Latino workers fell to 4.8 percent last month, the lowest level since 1970s. Meanwhile, the rate for black Americans was 7.1 percent, the second-lowest monthly rate, according to the latest Labor Department numbers reported on in The Wall Street Journal. However, both June lows are higher than the 3.8 percent rate for whites and the 4.4 percent overall rate, the Journal reported.

The gains among the two groups have come while the labor-force participation rate for each group also rose modestly, the Journal reported, suggesting the fall in unemployment coincides with new entrants to the labor market finding jobs and not people exiting the workforce.

Wage growth last year for black and Hispanic Americans also grew at a faster pace than for white Americans, according to Labor Department figures analyzed by the Journal.

“Everyone tends to see wage gains when unemployment is low,” Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at job search website Glassdoor, told the Journal. “That’s especially encouraging for these groups because there is a well-known wage gap between races.”

The Journal reported through an analysis of separate Labor Department data that median weekly earnings for whites was $894 during the first three months of the year. That compares with $679 for blacks and $649 for Hispanics.

Frank Kalman is Talent Economy‘s managing editor. To comment, email