The unemployment rate fell from 13.3 percent to 11.1 percent in the US as employers continue to rehire staff. But the economic impacts of the pandemic are still hitting communities of color harder than white Americans: The jobless rate among white workers is 10.1%, compared with 13.8 percent for Asian workers, and 14.5 percent for Hispanic workers. The jobless rate is highest among Black workers at 15.4 percent.
However, according to an analysis by Fortune it was found that the racial divide was always present, as the unemployment rate among Black workers has topped 10% in 405 months, or 69.6 percent of the time, since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) started calculating it in 1972. Meanwhile, the white unemployment rate has topped double digits in only three months during that same period, or 0.5 percent of the time.
The unemployment rate among Hispanic or Latino workers has topped double digits 190 times, or 33.5 percent of the months since March 1973 when the BLS started calculating that rate. And since 2000, when the BLS started calculating an unemployment rate among Asian workers, it has topped double digits on three occasions, or 1.2 percent of months during that period.
The three months in which the white jobless rate topped double digits all occurred since the onset of the 2020 pandemic. The current 11.1 percent unemployment rate is just below the average unemployment rate for Black Americans since 1972 of 11.4 percent.
Since March, the economic pain has continued to be unevenly spread. Some 24 percent of Black workers say they have lost their jobs, and another 31 percent have seen cuts to their hours or pay, finds a Fortune’s poll of 4,109 U.S. adults, conducted between May 20 and May 26. In comparison, 11 percent of white workers have lost their jobs, and 28 percent have experienced cuts to their hours or pay.