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The national unemployment rate for Blacks fell below 10 percent in the second quarter of 2015 for the first since 2007, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Even with the improvement, the rate is more than twice the 4.6 percent rate for Whites and nearly double the national average of 5.3 percent, writes the Journal citing statistics from the U.S. Labor Department.

Why the disparity? Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy, cites two major factors: education and work experience.

From the Journal:

Twenty-two percent of Blacks had completed four years of college in 2014, versus 32% of whites, according to the Census Bureau…

Only eight states have seen unemployment rates for Black workers fall below pre-recession levels. In Alabama, the African unemployment rate is more than twice what it was pre-recession: 10.9%, compared with less than 5% throughout 2007.

The nationwide average masks wide variations between states and between races. For example, Tennessee has the lowest unemployment rate for black workers, at 6.9%. But that’s about the same rate as the state with the highest unemployment rate for whites, West Virginia, where unemployment stood at around 7% for the quarter.

Black households were struck hard during the financial crisis. With so many people searching for work, it’s hard to recover.

SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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Black Unemployment Falls Slightly In 2nd Quarter, Still More Than Twice The White Rate  was originally published on