Black and Hispanic Unemployment Fall, Narrowing Gap with Whites

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 22: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the final presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the last debate between the two candidates before the election on November 3. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty …
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The U.S. jobless rate fell faster for blacks and Hispanics than whites in October, narrowing the unemployment gap between the races, Labor Department data released on Friday showed.

Black unemployment fell from 12.1 percent to 10.8 percent, a drop of 1.3 percentage points. Hispanic unemployment dropped 1.5 points from 10.3 percent to 8.8 percent.

White unemployment fell by one percentage point from 7 percent to 6 percent.

The unemployment rates for all three of the demographic groups has recovered much faster from the pandemic and lockdowns than it did from the recession during the Obama administration. It took until 2013 December 2013 for white unemployment to drop to 6 percent or lower. Black unemployment did not fall as low as it is now until December 2014. Hispanic unemployment hit the current level in June of 2013.

All three demographic groups still have far higher unemployment rates than before the pandemic hit. But the figures are far below the record highs hit when the economy went into lockdown last spring.

During Trump’s first term, black and Hispanic unemployment hit record lows in data stretching back decades. In the recent presidential election, Trump saw a dramatic increase in support from black and Hispanic voters, according to exit polls.

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