Number of the Day Shows Black Unemployment Rate Lags

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Number of the Day

That was the U.S. unemployment rate for Black and African American workers in October—the highest among the major racial groups and the only one still in double digits nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While the total unemployment rate fell to a better-than-expected 6.9% in October, unemployment among communities of color remains higher, with the rate for Black and African-Americans dropping from 12.1% in September to 10.8% in October, the government said Friday.

In fact, one left-leaning think tank, the Economic Policy Institute, noted Black and African-American unemployment is still higher than total unemployment ever was in the Great Recession, when it peaked at 10% in October 2009. (Black and African-American unemployment was as high as 16.8% in both the Great Recession and the current pandemic-triggered recession.)