The African-American unemployment rate hit an all time low in December 2017.



Record Low Unemployment

The African-American unemployment rate recently hit an all time low.

The rate, which has been kept since 1972, fell to 6.8 percent in December 2017.

President Donald Trump tweeted, “The African American unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent, the lowest rate in 45 years. I’m so happy about this News!”

While presidents, past and present, like to take credit for low unemployment rates, how much impact does their influence really have on these rates?

Furthermore, who deserves the most credit for the lower rates, President Trump or past administrations like that of President Barack Obama and others?

Economist Valerie Wilson, director of the program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute told Newsweek the lower unemployment numbers could be attributed to the financial recovery efforts carried out during the administration of President Obama.

Wilson said all President Trump had to do to keep things moving in a positive direction was to not do anything to reverse the process that had already begun.

According to, “The reasons range from a greater number of Black Americans with college degrees to a growing need for employers in a tight job market to widen the pool of people they hire from.”

The unemployment rate does not include people who have given up on their job search.

While the lower Black unemployment rate is a step in the right direction, it is still much higher than other demographics like White Americans.

CBS News attributed this “in large part to decades of discrimination and disadvantages.”

According to, “The Black unemployment rate has been in decline since at least October 2017. In March, the unemployment rate for African-Americans 16 or older was above 8 percent, but by September, it fell to 7 percent. In December 2017, the rate hit the new low of 6.8 percent. By comparison, unemployment for Whites in the month of December was 3.7 percent.”

NPR also reports that the overall unemployment rate for the entire country is 4.1 percent with the economy adding a total of 148,000 jobs in December 2017. According to Fox News, those numbers are down from the years of President Obama.

According to, “When you look at the big picture the average monthly job growth in 2017 was just 171,000 jobs per month, way down from the 187,000 jobs that were added each month in 2016 when Obama was still president.

“Trump’s low 171,000 jobs was the lowest average monthly job growth since 2010 when only 88,000 jobs were added to the economy each month. That, however, was to be expected as the country was trying to pull out of a massive recession.”

Economics professor Brendan O’Flaherty from Columbia University stated that a big impact behind the lower unemployment rates within the African-American community was that under President Obama the African-American high school graduation rate improved and those high school students stayed in school longer.

Jared Bernstein, former chief economist to former Vice President Joe Biden, said that Trump’s economic policies such as his healthcare and tax bills have “hurt the working class and minority workers.”

However, many conservatives credit President Trump for lowering the African-American unemployment rate.

Horace Cooper, an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Research, dislikes it when people say the president does not care about minorities, citing job growth under the current administration.

“If you are a Black person living in American now, this is a sign of things to come,” Cooper said.

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