The unemployment rate for Black men fell in October, but so did labor force participation

A Now Hiring signal at a Dunkin’ restaurant on September 21, 2021 in Hallandale, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Photos

The unemployment charge for Black males ticked down in October whereas it rose for many different teams, however which may be as a result of employees are dropping out of the labor drive.

The October nonfarm payrolls print showed that the U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs within the month and that the unemployment charge for all employees elevated to three.7% from 3.5%.

For Black males, unemployment fell to five.3% from 5.8% a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted foundation. White unemployment rose to three.2% general up from 3.1% a month earlier.  

“It went in the fitting path for the improper causes,” mentioned Invoice Spriggs, an economics professor at Howard College and chief economist for the AFL-CIO.

The improper causes

The downward movement in unemployment for Black males is probably going because of the labor drive participation charge, which dipped barely to 67.2% in October, slightly below the earlier month’s studying of 68%.

As well as, the employment-to-population ratio for Black males fell to 63.6% from 64.1% in September, which might point out that employees have stopped on the lookout for jobs, sending unemployment decrease.

Unemployment for Hispanic employees additionally jumped in October, outpacing the uptick for Black and white employees. It jumped to 4.2% from 3.8% in September.

“It is exhibiting this continued frustration that employees of shade are having within the labor market,” mentioned Spriggs. Although general there’s power within the labor market, “this isn’t the tight labor market the place folks can simply stroll in and get a job regardless of who they’re.”

General Black unemployment ticked up led by Black girls. In October, the unemployment charge for Black girls jumped to five.8% from 5.4% in September.

“That is regarding as a result of all through each the pandemic and the financial restoration from the pandemic disaster, Black girls have been lagging behind,” mentioned Kate Bahn, director of financial coverage and chief economist on the Washington Heart for Equitable Progress, a non-profit

On the brighter facet, the employment to inhabitants ratio for Black girls did not change, although labor market participation ticked up in the course of the month. That may very well be an indication that extra Black girls are returning to the labor drive and are on the lookout for jobs however have not but discovered employment, famous Valerie Wilson, director of this system on race, ethnicity and the economic system on the Financial Coverage Institute.

“It does not imply that there is a big variety of folks shedding jobs,” she mentioned.

Going ahead

In fact, one month of information doesn’t make a pattern, so it is essential to take a look at the longer-term image for employees of shade.

Usually, the unemployment charge for employees of shade has stepped down in current months in-line with white counterparts, and labor drive participation and the employment to inhabitants ratio have principally held regular, mentioned Wilson.

Nonetheless, there could also be trigger for concern going ahead relying on how the Federal Reserve reads the October report. The labor market has remained sturdy amid historic rate of interest hikes meant to tame excessive inflation, and the central financial institution is poised to proceed its path of elevating charges.

If the Fed goes too far and pushed the U.S. economic system right into a recession, that would have the worst impression on employees of shade.

“If we throw the economic system right into a recession, that impression not less than traditionally is extra more likely to hit tougher in communities of shade,” mentioned Wilson.

— CNBC’s Gabriel Cortes contributed reporting.

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