Jobs Report: Overall Unemployment Rate Down Slightly, But Rate for African Americans Increases

Another month, another good news/bad news jobs report.

On the one hand, some 216,000 jobs were added to the economy last month. On the other hand, that growth would have been higher if scores of public workers hadn't been laid off. (The growth stemmed from the 230,000 jobs added by the private sector.)

Another example: On the one hand, the overall unemployment rate fell slightly, to 8.8%. On the other hand, that rate is still incredibly high, and it's even worse for African Americans, who actually experienced a risein unemployment. The Center for Economic and Policy Research's Dean Baker:

African Americans do not appear to be sharing in the benefits of recent job growth. The EPOP for African Americans fell back by 0.3 percentage points to 51.9 percent, just 0.1 percentage points above the recession low hit September. The EPOP for black teens stands at just 14.8 percent. The overall unemployment rate for African Americans rose by 0.2 percentage points to 15.5 percent.

[Emphasis mine.]

The Maddow blog points us to another disheartening fact, which is evidence that we're "way, way, way not out of this yet": some 6.1 million people -- more than 45% of all Americans who are out of work -- have been jobless for at least 27 weeks. Meanwhile:

The average job search rose in March by nearly two full weeks, to 39 weeks, even as Republican governors move to cut off unemployment benefits.

Read more about the latest jobs report at the CEPR's website.

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at April 1, 2011, 6:22am

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