Graham Kilmer

Unemployment at 10.2 Percent

Black Americans continue to be most affected by unemployment.

By - Aug 7th, 2020 07:04 pm
On March 19th, the downtown Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social laid off 91 employees. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

On March 19th, the downtown Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social laid off 91 employees. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

U.S. unemployment dropped to 10.2 percent in July.

This comes from the latest monthly jobs report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It marks a small decline from June when the unemployment rate was 11.1 percent. The report shows U.S. added 1.8 million jobs in July.

Despite this improvement in the unemployment rate, the country is now approximately in line with where it was during the worst of the Great Recession. In July, the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think-tank, estimated that for every one job opening in the country there were three unemployed workers.

And the labor participation rate has hardly changed at all. It went down a tenth of a percentage point to 61.4 percent. This means that 38.6 percent of Americans aged 16 or older are neither working nor actively looking for work.

As with previous months, the BLS has had trouble classifying workers during the pandemic leading to miscalculations in the actual unemployment rate. In July, the misclassifications only threw off the unemployment rate by one percent. So, the likely unemployment rate for July was approximately 11.2 percent.

Black Americans continue to have the highest unemployment rate, well above the national average. In July, the unemployment rate among Black people was 14.6 percent, down from 15.4 percent in June. In July, the unemployment rate among Asian people was 12 percent, among Hispanic people it was 12.9 percent and among white people it was 9.2 percent.

The number of new unemployment claims that came in across the country last week saw a decrease compared to the week before. There were approximately 1.2 million new unemployment claims. But it was also the 20th straight week that the country saw more than one million new unemployment claims.

In the week since the last unemployment report, Wisconsin saw 14,841 new unemployment claims. Compared to the previous seven days, the state saw approximately 4,000 fewer new claims for unemployment.

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Categories: Economics, Health

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