Black Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest in 3 Years

Strong U.S. job growth leads to a steep decline in black unemployment.

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The black unemployment rate has dropped from 15.8 to 13.6 percent, according to ColorLines.

The percentage drop represents the lowest unemployment rate for African Americans in nearly three years. According to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, unemployment for black men dropped to 12.7 percent from 15.7 percent. The unemployment rate for black women saw a drop from 13.9 percent to 12.6 percent.

The decrease in black unemployment can be attributed to the overall dip in unemployment to 8.3 percent as the economy added 243,000 nonfarm jobs last month. The current unemployment rate is the lowest in three years, and the first time since 1994 that the rate has fallen for five months straight. Last month's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent.

Unemployment was 7.8 percent when President Obama took office. The highest the rate has reached during Obama's presidency is 10 percent.

One of the first responses many will have to these stats is that they bode well for President Obama's re-election chances; and while this is true, we must be thankful primarily that our communities are benefiting. From males and females to older Americans and youths, black Americans have been disproportionately suffering during this recession. Meanwhile, the sectors that have historically been the friendliest to our black Americans -- government and union jobs -- still aren't showing much movement.

Read more at ColorLines.

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