The black-white unemployment rated grew in August, spotlighting the failed policies of the Biden administration to end the unequal burden of inflation and the resurgence of coronavirus.
Unemployment in blacks grew to 8.8 percent, up from 8.2 percent in August. At the same time, the unemployment in whites fell to 4.5 percent from 4.8 percent. Resulting in unemployment in blacks is almost double the rate of whites.
In August, white employment grew by 269,000, an increase of 0.23 percent, while black employment grew by 135,000, an increase of 0.72. The black participation rate rose in the month to 56.2 percent from 55.8 percent in July, a positive development, while the white participation rate was unchanged at 61.6 percent. This contributed to the growth of the race gap.
The racial gap is more prominent for men. Unemployment of black men over 20 years of age grew to 9.1 percent from 8.4 percent, and employment rose by just 19,000, a 0.22 percent improvement. Unemployment of white men over 20 fell to 4.4 percent from 4.9 percent, and employment grew by 201,000, a 0.45 percent improvement. Resulting in the adult black male unemployment rate is double that of white men.
The racial gap among women also expanded. Black women over 20 years of age saw an increase in unemployment from 7.2 percent to 7.6 percent, while white women’s unemployment decreased from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent.
During Trump’s presidency, the black-white gap fell to record lows in both the summer of 2018 and 2019, although a widening followed both in the gap. Notable as it came in a rapidly expanding economy, indicating the benefits of the expansion were more equitably distributed. For example, unemployment for blacks hit a record low in August of 2019.
Earlier bouts of shrinking inequality had come in the context of an economic contraction when the racial unemployment narrowed because rising white unemployment caught up with black unemployment a bit.
Consistent with the pre-Trump pattern, the gap plunged to its lowest in the mass layoffs of April 2020, when the pandemic forced tens of millions out of their jobs and shuttered many businesses.
Biden promised to address racial equity and make the economy more inclusive; however, there is little evidence of accomplishment in the first seven months of his presidency.