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Center for Labor Research and Education

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Black Employment and Unemployment in Janaury 2012

The unemployment rate for Blacks was 13.6 percent last month. This is according to the latest report on the nations employment situation released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly Employment Situation report. This rate was a sharp decrease from December, when unemployment in the Black community stood at 15.8 percent. For the nation as a whole, unemployment was 8.3 percent in the month of January; this was a decline from December when the national unemployment rate stood at 8.5 percent. Among whites, unemployment was 7.4 percent; among Latinos, unemployment was 10.5 percent. Comparable December 2011 figures were 7.5 percent and 11.0 percent respectively. Overall, total non-farm payroll employment increased by 243,000 jobs from last month.This months decline was highly unusual. Part of this steep drop results from new statistical weighting by the BLS. Still adjusting for this change, the large reduction is hard to explain.