Note: The Evil Black Economist is demphasizing the monthly labor market report. The labor economy is close to full-employment a the current wage. It is likely to remain there for the forcible future. Instead, the fundamental problem in the US economy is now wages and inequality not employment.
October Jobs Report
The labor economy in the US is added 251,000 jobs in October 2017 as the unemployment rate dropped to 4.1% . It has been stable within a narrow band for the past two years. Wages dropped by -0.01 cents in October. The number of unemployed was 6.5 millon down 281k from last month and the number of long-term unemployed was recorded at 1.621 million.
However, the unemployment rate dropped because a record 765,000 people left the labor force. Different racial groups left the labor market at different rates: -662,000 Whites left the labor force while only -88,000 Blacks and -310,000 Hispanic/Latinos left. And 21,000 Asians joined. Of the 765K that left 367,000 were men and 241,000 were women.
There were gains in healthcare, business services and food services. Since October 2015, the national unemployment rate has dropped about one percentage point (from 5.5% to 4.1%). Blacks have made the largest gain during the period as the Black unemployment fell from 10.2% in October 2015 to 7.5% in October 2017.
Black Labor Force Participation Rate set to pass White Rate in next two years
On an interesting economic note, the Black labor force participation rate is going to pass the White and US average participation rate in the next year or two. Whites are dropping out of the labor force at record numbers.
The chart below looks at participation rates by race.
Black Unemployment Rate
The calculated Black U-6 rate, the widest measure of unemployment.
Ratio of Black Unemployment to White Unemployment Remained Close to the Average
Economists look at the ratio of Black Unemployment to White Unemployment as a good proxy for discrimination in the employment market. The long term Black unemployment rate has remained at about 1.8 times the White unemployment rate for 20 years.