The Crisis in Black Male Unemployment

The nation’s unemployment rate moved above 9 percent in May, reversing a downward trend in recent months. As has been the case for over a half century, the black unemployment rate continues to be about twice the rate for whites. In May, 8 percent of whites were unemployed compared to 16 percent of blacks.

The official unemployment rate includes only those individuals who are out of work and actively seeking employment.

But there is an even more alarming statistic. Only 56.9 percent of all adult African-American men are employed. This is the lowest level since labor market participation rates were first collected in 1972. About 68 percent of all white adult men have jobs.