African-American unemployment rate falls to 17-year low

By The Associated Press Markets Associated Press

The unemployment rate for African-Americans fell to a 17-year low in September, and the rates for all other major racial and ethnic groups also dropped.

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The jobless rate for people in their prime working years — defined as ages 25 through 54 — fell to 3.6 percent, the lowest level since June 2007, a few months before the Great Recession began. And for Americans with only a high school diploma, unemployment fell to a 10-year low of 4.3 percent.

All told, the unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in September, from 4.4 percent in August. Employers shed 33,000 jobs, a decline driven by the damage inflicted on Texas and Florida by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Economists expect hiring should rebound in the coming months.

The data for 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) September 2017 August 2017 September 2016
White 3.7 3.9 4.4
Black 7.0 7.7 8.3
Asian 3.7 4.0 3.9
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity** 5.1 5.2 6.4
Adult men 3.9 4.1 4.6
Adult women 3.9 4.0 4.4
Teenagers 12.9 13.6 15.9
20-24 years old 7.5 7.1 8.2
25-54 years old 3.6 4.0 4.3
55 and over 3.2 3.2 3.6
Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan* 3.9 4.3 4.4
No high school diploma 6.5 6.0 8.5
High school graduate 4.3 5.1 5.2
Some college 3.6 3.8 4.2
College graduate 2.3 2.4 2.5
Duration of Unemployment:
Average length (weeks) 26.8
Jobless 6 months or more (pct.) 25.5
*Not seasonally adjusted
**Includes all races
Source: Labor Department