by Frederick H. Lowe –thenorthstarnews.com
The nation’s nonfarm businesses added 288,000 jobs in April and in a rare occurrence the unemployment rate declined for both black man and black women, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning.
The overall unemployment rate fell to 6.3% and job gains were widespread, led by employment gains in professional and business services, retail trade, food services and drinking and construction, Erica L. Groshen, BLS commissioner, said in a statement.
The overall unemployment rate for African Americans dropped to 11.6% compared to 12.4% in March on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The jobless rate for black men 20 years old and older was 10.8% compared to 12.1% in March. And for black women 20 years old and older, the jobless rate was 10.4% compared to 11.0% in March, BLS reported.
Despite the decline, the jobless rate for African American men and women is still much higher than other ethnic and racial groups.
The unemployment rate for whites was 5.3%. Among white men 20 years old and older, it was 5.1% in April compared to 5.3% in March. White women 20 years old and older reported an unemployment rate of 4.7% in April compared to 5.3% in March.
The labor-force participation rate for black men and women, however, dropped in April compared to March while it increased for white women but slightly dropped for white men.
The unemployment rate for Hispanics was 7.3% compared to 7.9% in March, BLS reported. The jobless rate for Asians, which is not seasonally adjusted was 5.7% compared to 5.4% in March.
Professional and business services added 75,000 jobs in April and retail added 35,000 jobs. Construction employment rose by 32,000 and health care added 19,000 jobs.