We are hiring, want part-time heroes, sign at the entrance of the Target store, Queens, New York.

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The unemployment rate among Black Americans jumped in March, according to data released Friday by labor department,

Black unemployment rose to 6.4% last month, up from 5.6% in February. This is higher than the total unemployment rate, which Last month it came down to 3.8%As well as the 3.4% unemployment rate for white Americans, which has remained steady since February.

When accounting for gender, the unemployment rate for Black women age 20 or older rose to 5.6%, a large increase from the 4.4% rate in February. The unemployment rate for black men rose slightly to 6.2% from 6.1%.

“This is a worrying trend,” said Alice Gold, senior economist at The Economic Policy Institute. He said the unemployment rate for Black Americans has been rising steadily since December. “I would say it’s not worrisome yet, but I think it’s something we need to watch in the coming months,” she said.

While March’s increase was driven primarily by an increase among black women, Gold said the unemployment rate for both genders has increased over the past four months. However, he also cautioned that monthly data for demographic groups can be very volatile by nature.

Last month, the labor force participation rate among Black Americans — the percentage of the population that is either employed or actively looking for work — dropped to 63.6%, down from 63.7% in February. For black women, the rate dropped from 63.4% to 63%, while among black men it dropped from 69.8% to 69.6%.

“People are looking for more opportunities, but not everyone is getting them, and that’s why the unemployment rate is rising,” Gould said.

This is compared to the overall US labor market participation rate, which increased from 62.5% in February to 62.7% in March.

Black Americans were the demographic group that was hardest hit by COVID-induced business closures. unemployment rate for black workers reached its peak The overall unemployment rate, at 16.8% in 2020, is higher than the April 2020 high of 14.7%.

The unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans fell from 5% to 4.5% last month. Similarly, Asian unemployment fell to 2.5% from 3.4% in February.

— CNBC’s Gabriel Cortes contributed to this report.


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