While the unemployment rate dropped across the major demographic groups last month, African American unemployment jumped to more than double the white unemployment rate and nearly twice the national unemployment rate, according to new jobs data released Friday.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that during the month of January, African American unemployment increased from 8.3 percent in December to 8.8 percent last month.
The national unemployment rate in January was 4.9 percent.
In that same timeframe the unemployment rate among whites declined from 4.5 percent in December to 4.3 percent last month. Asian Americans also saw their unemployment rate decline from 4.0 percent to 3.7 percent in January. The unemployment rate among Latinos also dropped substantially from 6.3 percent in December to 5.9 percent last month.
African Americans have struggled economically under President Obama with elevated unemployment rates compared to other racial groups. While African American unemployment is high and higher than the month of December, African American unemployment has improved over the long term when double digit unemployment was the norm from 2009 through mid- 2015.