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Rate of Unemployed Black Women Rises Amid Decline In Overall Unemployment

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Black women saw an uptick in unemployment in December despite the overall rate of job loss declining in the U.S., new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals.

According to CNBC, the unemployment rate for Black women increased from 5.2 percent to 5.5 percent from November to December while the rate for all U.S. workers declined from 3.7 percent to 3.5 percent. During that same time period, Black unemployment remained consistent at 5.7 percent, and Black male unemployment dropped from 5.4 percent to 5.1 percent.

Latino men and women also saw unemployment increases in the final month of 2022, growing from 3.6 percent to 4 percent and 3.6 percent to 3.7 percent, respectively.

Despite overall improvements across labor markets since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, industries that have an overrepresentation of Black female workers haven’t shown the same gains, Michelle Holder, a senior fellow at Washington Center for Equitable Growth, told CNBC. These industries include university positions, which are down 24,000 roles due to strikes, and jobs in leisure and hospitality.

“Those are two industries that have not recovered well during the pandemic,” Holder said. “This is what is constraining Black women’s ability to get back to the state that they were with regard to the American workforce before the pandemic.”

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