Published On: Sat, Jun 2nd, 2018

Black unemployment hits lowest point since 1972, overall rate drops again

The unemployment rate for blacks fell to 5.9 percent in May, hitting the lowest level since the government started to record that data in 1972.

The decline in black unemployment also extended a streak that started in January, when the rate had risen to 7.7 percent from December’s 6.8 percent.

Unemployment overall was 3.8 percent in May.

“It fell for all the right reasons. We had more people coming into the labor market. We saw employers digging deeper into the pool of unemployed,” said Josh Wright, chief economist at the software firm iCIMS.

The jobs report painted a picture of an economy with opportunities for almost everyone.

photo: photologue_np via Flickr

Job openings are at a record high, and businesses are hungry for workers. That has helped underrepresented Americans find jobs.

The unemployment rate among African-Americans and Asian-Americans has been steadily declining. It has also dropped among low-education workers and even teenagers. Over the past year, the unemployment rate among 16- to 19-year-olds has fallen from 14.1% to 12.8%.

The economy added 223,000 jobs in May, better than economists predicted.

The economy has been expanding for almost nine years, the second-longest streak on record. And employers have added jobs every month for seven and a half years, a record.

Modest wage growth remains the great puzzle in the economy. Wages are 2.7% higher than a year earlier.

Dozens of companies have already announced pay hikes and more attractive benefits to lure workers. On Thursday, Costco said it would raise starting wages for US employees by $1, to a minimum of $14 an hour.

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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