Women Responsible for All Job Gains Among Black People Last Month


Last month, the unemployment rate among black people fell more than half a percentage point, entirely thanks to job market gains by black women. There are a few bad joke conclusions to draw from this — first, we could Jack Welch it by saying that the black women became employed in large numbers as a deliberate, concerted group effort to make the President look good. Second, something from a sassy drug store greeting card about women working harder than men. And third, we could totally pin this statistic to our rapidly growing END OF MEN Pinterest board.

September wasn’t a bad month to be an unemployed person. It was the least bad month in quite some time, actually — unemployment dipped below 7.8% for the first time since Barack Obama has taken office. The economy has added about 4.6 million jobs now, so we’ve just barely replaced the ones we hemorrhaged during the recession. Mitt Romney, who loves America, could not be more disappointed with these positive numbers about more Americans working.

Among the biggest job gainers last month were black people. As The Root notes, unemployment among black Americans dropped from over 14% to just 13.6%. Pretty impressive for a single month! But it’s even more impressive when you consider that the people doing all of the gaining were black women. In fact, the percentage of adult black men who are employed dropped two tenths of a percentage point. That’s a lot of heavy lifting, ladies.

The Root chalks the job gains up to Obamanomics or whatever portmanteau we’re now using to describe stuff the President’s administration has done, economy-wise. But what explains the gender gap?

As it stands now, a larger percentage of black men (57.5%) are employed than black women (55.3%), but black women have outpaced their male counterparts in higher education for more than a decade. If black women out-employing black men becomes a notable, long-standing trend, is it any wonder that increased levels of education translate to increased levels of employability?

[The Root]

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