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Black Unemployment Rate At 7-Year Low, STILL Tops Peak White Unemployment Rate

The black unemployment rate fell to 9.6 percent in April, hitting a near 7-year low that still tops the peak white unemployment rate in the past decade.

The rate hit 10 percent in July 2008 and rose steadily following the financial crisis to nearly 17 percent in March 2010, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It hovered around 15 to 16 percent for years before beginning a slow decline in 2012. (RELATED: Male African American Unemployment Is Over 50 Percent Among Dropouts)

The white unemployment rate over the same period never topped 9.2 percent, and is now 4.7 percent.

The persistently higher black unemployment rate is not for lack of effort. Black and white Americans are participating in the labor market by either looking for work or working at about the same rate — 62.6 percent of whites and 61.9 percent of blacks.

“This report largely reflects the ongoing recovery, but jobs in April were likely also boosted by a temporary bounce-back from winter weather,” Obama’s Chief Economic Adviser Jason Furman said in a statement Friday, referring to the April jobs report from the BLS. “Notwithstanding the substantial progress our economy has made, it is critical to continue the overall momentum and further strengthen wage growth.”

The White House called for new policies to help the economy, including expanded trade and an increase in the minimum wage. (RELATED: Under Obama, African American Unemployment Up, Wealth, Wages, Political Influence Down)

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