The reason for the increase appears to have been a rise in the percentage of African-Americans looking for a job, rather than job losses.
The unemployment rate for blacks rose to 14.4% from 13.6% in May, the Labor Department reported Friday. That’s a sharp contrast to the white unemployment rate, which stayed put at 7.4%, and the Hispanic rate, which held at 11%.
This trend is not a new one, as the black unemployment rate has been roughly double that of whites since the government started tracking the figures in 1972. But Algernon Austin, director of the the Race, Ethnicity and the Economy program at the Economic Policy Institute, attributes the rise in the rate to more black Americans entering the workforce, not to job losses or more people out of work. The percentage of eligible African-Americans holding or seeking a job rose in June to 62% from 61.3% in May. It was the second straight month that the percentage has increased.
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