Dominion of New York


February 3, 2012

Black Jobless Rate Falls With National Rate, But Remains Disproportional

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Written by: Kelly Virella
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An unemployment line, Photo Courtesy of Flickr/The Patron Saint


s the national unemployment rate fell to a three-year low of 8.3 percent last month, the black jobless rate fell too. Since January, it dropped almost 3 percent, from 16.5 percent  to 13.6. While the news is good, racial disparities in employment persist. For white’s, the unemployment rate last month fell to 7.4 percent, almost half that of blacks.

The jobless numbers come from the U.S. Labor Department’s monthly snapshot, which is based on household surveys, not employer surveys.

Most of the new jobs are in the private sector, which added 257,000 new jobs, The New York Times reports. The industries with the biggest gains were manufacturing, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality, the paper reports.

In a 2005 report, Princeton researchers published the results of a study they conducted examining racial discrimination in hiring. One of their results was that a white felon was more likely to be hired for a job than a black person with the same skills and a spotless criminal record.

Race at Work

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About the Author

Kelly Virella
Kelly Virella lives in an East Harlem walk-up with her husband, her bicycle and her books. She's worked as a journalist for 11 years and started this website during the summer of 2011. She fell in love with New York City during her first visit here as a 16-year-old and finally made good on her promise to move here in April 2010.