The unemployment gap between black and white workers widened in August, with the jobless rate for black workers nearly double that of whites, according to federal data.
The black unemployment rate in August was 13 percent, down from 14.6 percent in July, but about 1.8 times higher than white Americans, who had a jobless rate of 7.3 percent last month, down from 9.2 percent in July.
That ratio of black unemployment to white unemployment widened from 1.6 in July and 1.5 in June, representing the slower jobs recovery for black Americans in the wake of the
In August, the number of white Americans with jobs rose by 3.1 million, or 2.8 percent, while black employment increased by 367,000, or 2.1 percent.
This chart shows monthly unemployment rates for black, white, Hispanic and Asian workers, as well as the overall national average unemployment rate
A person looks inside the closed doors of the Pasadena Community Job Center during the coronavirus pandemic in Pasadena, California in May. New federal data shows that the unemployment gap between black and white workers widened in August
Historically, the black unemployment rate has always been higher than that of white workers.
There are several theories as to why the gap persists, ranging from hiring discrimination to differences in educational attainment, but none are considered definitive by experts.
For Hispanics, the unemployment rate dropped sharply in August, after Hispanic unemployment briefly exceeded that of black workers for the first time ever in April and May.
The unemployment rate for Hispanics tumbled to 10.5 percent from 12.9 percent in July.
A customer walks past a now hiring sign at an eatery in Richardson, Texas earlier this month . The Labor Department reported unemployment numbers September 3
One million more Hispanics reported having jobs in August, a 4 percent increase from July.
Hispanics are disproportionately likely to work in the kinds of services jobs – at restaurants or construction sites, for example – that have been returning as businesses reopen.
Although Asians typically had the lowest unemployment rate of any racial group prior to the pandemic, the Asian unemployment rate remained higher than the national average in August, at 10.7 percent.
The gap between the female and male jobless rate narrowed to just a third of a percentage point in August
The unemployment gap between people with college degrees and those with a high school diploma remained large in August
Meanwhile, the gap between the female and male jobless rate narrowed to just a third of a percentage point in August.
The female unemployment rate declined to 8.6 percent from 10.6 percent the prior month. The male rate fell to 8.3 percent from 9.8 percent in July.
Before the pandemic, fewer women were unemployed than men.
The unemployment gap between people with college degrees and those with a high school diploma remained large in August, with high school grads unemployed at a rate 1.8 times higher than their college grad peers.