National Urban League Notes Near-Record Low Black Unemployment

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NEW YORK – National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial issued the following statement in response to the December Jobs Report the Department of Labor issued last month.

“December’s near-record low unemployment rate for Black workers is a vital sign of a strong economy that continues to defy expectations. At 5.2%, the lowest rate since April’s all-time low of 4.7%, the Black unemployment rate is 48.6% – still unacceptably high, but a significant narrowing from the traditional 2:1 ratio. The overall unemployment rate has remained below 4% for nearly two years, one of the longest streaks in U.S. history.

“Another significant indicator of the economy’s strength over the last year is the record-high labor force participation rate for mothers with children under five. But this progress is fragile as pandemic-era relief has expired and childcare costs continue to rise. Without long-term investments in childcare, parents will be forced back out of the labor market, which would slow economic growth and erode economic security.

“Working families are seeing a much-needed rise in their income and wealth. However, high interest rates challenge families struggling to meet their mortgage payments and continue to hinder the construction of new homes.

“To build a more comprehensive and fair economy, we must continue to invest in crucial programs such as housing, childcare, and other initiatives that can help strengthen our economy and communities. We must also ensure delivery of those programs to the underserved communities that need them most.” (Source: TN Tribune)