Whites not most employed, nationally

By Matt Johnson

Acccording to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, whites do not have the lowest unemployment rate, nationally. That honor belongs to Asian Americans. As the table below illustrates, they have had the lowest unemployment rate for the previous two first quarters.

Unemployment by race and ethnicityThe Systems Scientist did a little extra digging and found that Asian Americans have had the lowest unemployment rate of any racial group in the United States since at least 2007 with the exception of a short period in 2104 according to Thomson Reuters.

However, unemployment and race are usually presented as a duality; that is, black and white. In that case, black Americans were nearly or more than twice the unemployment rate of white Americans.

In 2015, the unemployment rate for blacks was 5.3 percentage points higher than whites during the first quarter of 2015. But that gap shrunk in 2016 to 4.4 percentage points. More importantly, the unemployment rate decreased from 10.4 in the first quarter of 2015 to 9.0 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Although black unemployment is still the highest nationally, it is at least heading in the right direction.

Finally, how does each group compare to the national average? The national unemployment rate for the first quarter 2015 was 5.8 percent, and the national unemployment rate for the first quarter 2016 was 5.2. As the table shows, Asians and whites were above the average in 2015 and 2016; whereas, Latinos (Hispanics) and blacks were below the average for 2015 and 2016.

Unemployment Rate
Race 2015 2016 Diff.
Asian 3.8 3.8 0
White 5.1 4.6 -0.5
Latino 7.3 6.1 -1.2
Black 10.4 9 -1.4
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics


**Remember, there is nothing more American than discourse. You are always welcome to post your comments, thoughts, and questions below. 

Copyright ©2016 – The Systems Scientist

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