By Karen Stokes
Jobless rate for Black Americans in December 2023 is 5.2%, down from 5.8% in November.
“In fact the annualized rate is 5 1/2%,” said Kirabo Jackson, Member of the Council of Economic Advisers. “The lowest it’s ever been since this data has been recorded. But that’s not a reason to spike the football because there’s more work to be done so the Biden Administration has done a lot to try to make sure that we can improve.
“At the same time, we’re happy that the unemployment rate for Black Americans is some of the lowest on record.”
Though the Black jobless rate is down, it is still higher than the overall unemployment rate, which held at 3.7%.
According to Jackson, a lot of the investments in clean jobs from the Biden Administration are going to communities of color. Also, the Small Business Administration has increased the amount of small business loans that are out there targeted to more diverse communities, targeted towards Black Americans.
“We’re seeing some of this play out, we’re seeing Black business ownership is at record levels at the moment,” said Jackson. There are still things that the administration is working on and will be working on for the future.”
On Friday, President Biden released a statement on the strong jobs report for December 2023.
“This morning’s report confirms that 2023 was a great year for American workers. The economy created 2.7 million new jobs in 2023 a year when the unemployment rate was consistently below 4 percent, more jobs than during any year of the prior Administration,” the President said.
“Overall we’re pretty happy with these numbers,” said Jackson. “If you look at overall job growth there are 260,000 additional jobs added in December this is above market expectations of 174,000 jobs. If you look at the year in totality, we’ve added 2.7 million jobs since December 2022 for an average pace of 225,000 jobs per month. When we have a nominal wage growth of 4% that means that Americans’ pocketbooks are looking a little bit better and every paycheck is looking to go a little bit further. This is good news for the American worker.”
“In addition the Biden Administration has done many things to try to stimulate investments in a variety of areas for example the bipartisan infrastructure law, the chips act, these are all ways we want to crowd in private money to encourage a general job growth which is what we’re seeing with the strong numbers,” Jackson said.
“The strong job creation continued even as inflation fell to the pre-pandemic level of 2% over the last six months, and key prices have fallen over the last year—for a gallon of gas, a gallon of milk, toys, appliances, car rentals, and airline fares. American workers’ wages and wealth are higher now than before the pandemic began, adjusting for inflation,” Biden said. “I won’t stop fighting for American workers and American families.”