Jobless rate for black Americans falls to 7-year low but rises for Asian-Americans

Economic Indicators Associated Press

The unemployment rate for black Americans fell to single digits in April for the first time in nearly seven years. At the same time, the jobless rate among Asian-Americans rose for the first time in six months.

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The black unemployment rate in April was 9.6 percent, the lowest level since June 2008. During the financial crisis and recession, the rate had risen as high as 16.8 percent.

Despite the latest improvement, the employment gap by race remains stubbornly wide. The jobless rate for blacks is more than twice that of whites.

Meanwhile, the Asian-American unemployment rate climbed to 4.4 percent from 3.2 percent in March. It was the first such increase since October.

The data for various demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department's monthly jobs data.

Unemployment rate by group:
(Numbers in percentages) April 2015 March 2015 April 2014
White 4.7 4.7 5.3
Black 9.6 10.1 11.4
Asian* 4.4 3.2 5.9
Adult men 5.0 5.1 5.9
Adult women 4.9 4.9 5.7
Teenagers 17.1 17.5 19.1
20-24 years old 9.6 10.4 10.6
25-54 years old 4.6 4.5 5.3
55 and over 4.0 3.9 4.6
Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan* 6.9 6.5 6.8
No high school diploma 8.6 8.6 8.8
High school graduate 5.4 5.3 6.3
Some college 4.7 4.8 5.6
College graduate 2.7 2.5 3.3
Duration of Unemployment:
Average length (weeks) 30.8 30.7 34.8
Jobless 6 months of more (pct.) 29 29.8 35.1
* Not seasonally adjusted
Source: Labor Department