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Jobless rate for black Americans at lowest level since 2007

Updated at: 09/02/2016 3:53 PM
By The Associated Press

(AP) WASHINGTON - WASHINGTON (AP) — Black Americans made strides in the job market in August, while those without high school diplomas lost ground.

The unemployment rate for black Americans fell to 8.1 percent, their lowest level since July 2007. And in an encouraging sign, their labor force participation rate — the proportion who are either working or actively seeking work — rose.

Despite the improvement, an employment gap by race remains stubbornly wide: The jobless rate for African-Americans, at 8.1 percent, is nearly double the 4.4 percent rate for whites.

It was a tough month for the least educated, who face an increasing number of employers seeking workers with higher skills. The unemployment rate for those without high school diplomas jumped to 7.2 percent from 6.3 percent in July.

Overall, U.S. employers added a modest 151,000 jobs last month. The overall unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent for a third straight month.

The data for various demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department's monthly jobs report.

Unemployment rate by group:
(Numbers in percentages)August 2016July 2016August 2015
White*4.44.34.4
Black8.18.49.4
Asian4.23.83.5
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity**5.65.46.6
Adult men4.54.64.7
Adult women4.54.34.7
Teenagers15.715.616.8
20-24 years old8.19.08.9
25-54 years old4.34.14.4
55 and over3.53.73.8
Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan*4.75.94.7
No high school diploma7.26.37.7
High school graduate5.15.05.5
Some college4.34.34.4
College graduate2.72.52.5
Duration of Unemployment:
Average length (weeks)27.628.128.3
Jobless 6 months or more (pct.)26.126.627.7
*Not seasonally adjusted
**Includes all races
Source: Labor Department

(Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)