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.
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 unemployment rate for the black population hit 6.8% in December. It stands at the lowest point since the US Bureau of Labor Statistics started collecting that data in 1972.
The unemployment rate for black Americans fell to 6.8% in December, the lowest level since at least 1972 when the Labor Department began tracking the figure. It marks a swift comeback for black workers, who suffered through extremely high unemployment during the Great Recession. Black unemployment peaked at 16.8% in March 2010, well above the peaks for other demographics.
Despite significant progress, unemployment for black Americans today is still far higher than other groups. White unemployment was 3.7% in December; Asian unemployment was 2.5%; Hispanic joblessness was 4.9%.