The Demographics Of The Unemployed

The demos of the unemployed tell a much more instructive story about what's really going on in our labor market. As I do monthly, here are the government reported unemployment rates and my adjusted rate based on demographics:                    

  • Asians: 2.7% (lower)   
  • White: 3.4% (higher)      
  • Hispanic: 4.5% (higher)  
  • Black: 5.9% (lower)

Here are the adjusted rates once you factor in the long-term unemployed, underemployed and marginally attached workers:                  

  • Asians: 5.5%      
  • White: 7%            
  • Hispanic: 9.2%               
  • Black: 12.1%         

It was a mixed bag last month with Asian and African American unemployment rates are coming down while white and Hispanic rates are rising. What is exciting, however, is that the progress made with black unemployment was enough to tie the record low unemployment rate we experienced this spring. In other words, the real progress that was made was made demographically where we need to see the biggest improvement. This is a pretty exciting storyline in an otherwise okay employment report.  

Here’s an updated of all the current groups experiencing record low unemployment rates right now.    

  • Blacks 
  • Women   
  • Foreign-born adults   
  • Native Americans  

Another bonus, the length of time out of work for minorities has never been lower in recorded American history. The Hispanic unemployment rate is higher this month, it's currently the third lowest on record. 

It would be easy to overlook news like this when just looking at basic averages and numbers for the report. Obviously, we continue to see the disconnects in the labor market based on demographics and it paints a picture of where and with whom we generally need to be focusing efforts going forward. In the third part of today's employment story, we will explore the fun stuff. How much more money we're making?

Photo By: Getty Images

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