Black Youth Unemployment Falls to Lowest Level in History

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 31: Life guards start the day at the beach at Coney Island on July 31, 2019 in New York City. New York City and much of the East Coast has been experiencing a perfect summer week of warm temperatures and blue skies. (Photo by …
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The American economy is providing jobs for younger African-Americans at an unprecedented level.

In July, the unemployment rate for African-Americans between the ages of 16 and 19 fell to a seasonally adjusted 17.7 percent, the lowest rate since the government began tallying the figures in the early 1970s.

A total of 762,000 young African-Americans had jobs in July, according to the most recent data from the Department of Labor. That’s the highest number on record. The labor force participation rate climbed to 38.8, up from 36.3 a year ago.

Despite rising workforce participation, African-American youth unemployment is down dramatically from a year ago, when it was a seasonally adjusted 19.4 percent. The workforce over that time has grown by 50,000.

White youth unemployment actually increased year-over-year, from 11.0 percent to 11.4 percent. As a result, the racial gap in unemployment has contracted to 6.3 percentage points, also a record low.


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