March BLS Report

1.6 million African-Americans gain jobs in the past year as unemployment rate drops to 6.2%: BLS

BMWORLDWIDE–WASHINGTON-Nearly 1.6 million African-Americans gained jobs since last March, according to the April 1 employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of Black unemployed declined 700,000 in the March unemployment  report as the percentage declined to 6.2 percent, from 9.9 percent last March.  The total number of Blacks in the civilian labor force grew to 21,134,000 in March 2022 from 20,183,000.

The number employed rose to 19,825,000 from  18,281,000 in March 2021. The figures indicated more returning to the workforce after the pandemic as well as more actual gains in employment.

Although the persistent 2-to-1 ratio between Black and white unemployment continues, reaching 6.2 percent African-American unemployment is significant, reflecting gains in health care employment, the leading industry category for Black workers, and transportation.

Also persistent is the large disparity in unemployment for Black youth, whose unemployment rate in March 2022 reached 22.9 percent.  The low overall rate offers policy opportunities to make transformationalgains in their career trajectories with targeted job creation.

Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corp. in Brownsville has received a $1.3 million grant from the Robinhood Foundation for an economic mobility plan called OWN Brownsville which is designed to create indigenous businesses that retain jobs over a sustained period.

Such initiatives can address supply chain and violence prevention by redirecting the groups who are currently surplus labor, and increase the labor force participation.