Jobless rate for black Americans falls to 7-year-low, though racial disparity remains wide

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Black Americans made strides in the job market in June, with their unemployment rate reaching its lowest level in seven years.

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The black unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent, the best showing since a 9.4 percent reading in June 2008.

Despite the improvement, the employment gap by race remains stubbornly wide. The jobless rate for African-Americans is more than twice the rate for whites and has remained in double digits nearly every month since the summer of 2008.

At the same time, unemployment rates improved in June for workers of all educational backgrounds — from those without high school diplomas to college graduates.

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

Unemployment rate by group:
(Numbers in percentages) June-15 May-15 June-14
White 4.6 4.7 5.3
Black 9.5 10.2 10.7
Asian* 3.8 4.1 4.8
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity** 6.6 6.7 7.6
Adult men 4.8 5 5.7
Adult women 4.8 5 5.3
Teenagers 18.1 17.9 20.7
20-24 years old 9.9 10.1 10.6
25-54 years old 4.4 4.7 5.1
55 and over 3.7 3.7 4.4
Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan* 5.4 5.4 7
No high school diploma 8.2 8.6 9.1
High school graduate 5.4 5.8 5.8
Some college 4.2 4.4 5.1
College graduate 2.5 2.7 3.3
Duration of Unemployment:
Average length (weeks) 28.1 30.7 33.3
Jobless 6 months or more (pct.) 25.8 28.6 32.6
* Not seasonally adjusted
**Includes all races
Source: Labor Department