The unemployment rate for Black workers in American fell to 5.4% in January — the lowest rate in decades, according to data released Friday by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That number was down from 5.7% in December.
The nation’s overall unemployment rate was little changed 3.4% — the lowest rate in 54 years.
Employers added 517,000 jobs last month, a total far higher than economists had predicted, a signal that the U.S. economy may be resilient.
The leisure and hospitality industries led the way in job creation, adding 128,000 jobs in January compared with an average of 89,000 jobs per month in 2022. Despite those gains, the leisure and hospitality sector remains below its pre-pandemic February 2020 level by 495,000 jobs, or 2.9 percent.
Unemployment by Race:
- White: 3.2%
- Black: 5.4%
- Asian: 2.8%
- Hispanic: 4.5%
During a White House press briefing on Friday, President Joe Biden called the January jobs report “strikingly good news,” reflecting “the strongest two years of job growth in history by a longshot.”
Biden took aim at his Republican critics, asserting that they were wrong in their dire predictions about the U.S. economy.
Well, today’s data makes crystal clear what I’ve always known in my gut: These critics and cynics are wrong,” he said. “While we may face setbacks along the way, and there will be some, there is more work to do. It’s clear our plan is working because of the grit and resolve of the American worker.”