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  • Writer's pictureElevate Dayton

Black-White Unemployment Gap Shrinks as Minority Workers Gain Ground in Tight Labor Market

By Nate Dillard, Elevate Dayton

The big picture: As the Black unemployment rate fell to 5% in March, the lowest level since the early 1970s, the difference between the Black and White unemployment rates has shrunk to its smallest level ever. The disparity has grown to 1.8 percentage points, while the 3.2% unemployment rate for White people has remained constant, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: This trend emphasizes how minority workers, who have historically been underrepresented in the workforce, now have more options.

By the numbers: For Black women over the age of 20, the employment-to-population ratio has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, pointing to a more favorable job environment. In comparison to White and Hispanic males, Black men have made tremendous strides but still have the lowest employment-to-population ratios.

Between the lines: Employers continue to report trouble hiring workers, indicating a tight employment market that advantages minority workers, despite certain signs pointing to a cooling labor market.

Zoom in: Asian Americans' labor force participation rate for workers in the prime working age range (25–54) increased to 83.9%, the highest since records began to be kept in 2000.

The community angle: For BIPOC and underrepresented communities of color in Dayton, this narrowing gap in unemployment rates signals progress in combating employment disparities. As opportunities increase, these communities can benefit from a stronger labor market, improving their overall economic well-being and contributing to a more inclusive workforce.

This article originally appeared on Elevate Dayton and republished through its partnership with the Dayton Weekly News.

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