*When the unemployment rate rose last month, the pain wasn’t spread evenly.
There is always statistical noise in month-to-month changes in the labor market, but some patterns are clear. Black workers still have a far higher unemployment rate than other groups measured by the Labor Department. And the gap appears to be widening. In August it hit 16.3 percent after being 15.6 in July.
For whites, the unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in August, up from 8.6 percent.
It’s unclear if the bigger jump in unemployment for black workers is a short-term fluke, said Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute. The timing seems to correlate with the end of temporary census jobs, which might have gone disproportionately to black workers.
These and other details can be found in the government’s latest jobs report.
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