Unemployment Among Black Women Increased While Other Groups Trend Down


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While the nation's pandemic-related economic recovery is being celebrated, the February 2022 jobs report shows that recovery isn't happening for all Americans.

Data obtained by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that unemployment among Black women increased from 5.8% to 6.1% between the start of the year and end of February, while other groups' unemployment rate fell. Additionally, unemployment among Black men and women aged 20 and over are higher than men and women overall.

The latest job report shows that there are an estimated one million fewer women aged 20 and over who are in the workforce compared to February 2020. For men, there's 513,000 more in the workforce than two years ago.

"Even within the context of that strong jobs report, we still see the footprint of the she-cession and the particular impact that Black women have sustained through the pandemic," Emily Martin, vice president for workplace and education at the National Women's Law Center, told Business Insider.

The jobs report shows that labor force participation rate –– or the rate of people actively looking for work –– decreased among Black women in February.

"It's one of the signs that Black women aren't sharing in the strong recovery," Kathryn Zickuhr, labor market policy analyst at the Washington Center for Equitable growth, told the outlet.

Though it's hard to point to exact reasons Black women have left the workforce, Zickuhr noted the structural racism of employers' hiring practices and even layoff decisions. Pay inequality also has a lot to do with it, too, experts explained.

"Companies should recognize that and put pay equity in place for women, because more women will come into the workforce," Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said.

On average, Black women shoulder more in student loans, are often the financial resource for relatives, and yet still make less than white men and women.

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