The Tight Labor Market Is Reducing the Racial Unemployment Gap

One wants to always be careful not to overinterpret any jobs report — the numbers are noisy in the monthly data. But when a number pops out that makes sense in terms of both theory and empirical evidence, it's time to take note.In this spirit, note that the African-American unemployment rate hit 6.8 percent last month, the lowest on record, with data going back to the early 1970s. In addition, the gap between black and white unemployment, measured as the black rate minus the white rate, hit 3.1 percentage points, also the lowest on record.Now, you may well be saying, "Wait up; 6.8 percent doesn't sound all that low, especially given that the overall jobless rate remains at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent."  Continue reading...

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