Blacks Only Racial Group Not to See Jobless Rate Fall in August

Correction: Earlier versions of this article misstated the July unemployment figure for black women quoted in the University of California (Berkeley) analysis. The rate was 12.5 percent.

There's a large sector of the population whose skills and talents are being severely underutilized: African Americans.

The latest monthly figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, released on Friday, show that while unemployment dipped for every other racial and ethnic racial group compared to July, it remained at 14.1 percent for blacks. For a third consecutive month, the unemployment figure for the minority exceed 14 percent.

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The unemployment rate for whites dropped slightly to 7.2 percent from 7.4 percent in July; the figure for Hispanics fell by a tenth of a percentage point to 10.2. The jobless rate for Asian-Americans, which was the only among the group not seasonally adjusted, was 5.9 percent, down from 6.2 percent. The overall unemployment rate for August was 8.1 percent, compared to 8.3 percent for July.

An analysis by the University of California (Berkeley) Center for Labor Research and Education found that the August unemployment rate for black women was 12.8 percent, higher than July's 12.5 percent. Black men made some gains, with their unemployment rate dropping to 15.5 percent in August from 15.8 percent in July.

The BLS figures show that the economy added 96,000 jobs in August, down from 141,000 in July and a number below what economists had expected. The sector that created the most jobs was food and health services, which added 28,000 positions.