12.9% to 14%: Just when the unemployment numbers for Black Americans appeared to be improving, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the number has increased a full percentage point up to a strikingly high 14%. The overall unemployment number held steady at 7.8% as employers hired 155,000 people.
The Black unemployment rate hit a three year low in May 2012 when it was at 13%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In September 2011, the Black unemployment rate was 16.7% — the highest Black jobless rate recorded in 27 years.
The CBC went on a five city jobs tour the month before to highlight the problem. The tour brought media attention and tension with the Obama administration. The Black teen unemployment rate was also at a striking level: 46%.
In August 2012, the Black unemployment rate was at 14.2% but then improved to 12.9% in November. Will it end up reaching the historic highs of September 2011 when it hit the highest level since the Reagan administration?