The Unemployed Demographics for May 2019

The demographics of the unemployed – May 2019 

Bottom Line:The demos of the unemployed tell a much more specific 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 ethnicity:                  

  • Asians: 2.2% 
  • White: 3.1% 
  • Hispanic: 4.2% 
  • Black: 6.7%

And by gender:

  • Women – 3.1%
  • Men – 3.4%

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

  • Asians: 4.4% (lower) 
  • White: 6.3% (lower)             
  • Hispanic: 8.5% (lower)                
  • Black: 13.5% (higher)   

The demographic story is literally historic. We currently have record low unemployment for Asians, Hispanics & women. That’s exciting. In fact, female unemployment is now meaningfully lower than male unemployment for the first time in US history as well. There’s storyline after storyline resetting American history within this report. But... Just as was the case in the two previous times we’d attained record low unemployment for blacks in 2018 – we’ve taken a slight step backward once again. The base unemployment rate for blacks was flat but the real unemployment rate for black adults was slightly higher during the month. That’s frustrating at a time when records are falling almost everywhere else. It places increased importance on the need make greater in roads in predominantly black communities – starting with education. 

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.


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