The number of black people not in the labor force rose to a record 12,202,000 in March, as the participation rate dropped to 61.0 percent, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Friday.
According to the BLS, in February, 12,122,000 blacks did not participate in the labor force – meaning they neither had a job nor actively sought one in the last four weeks – but in March this figure rose to 12,202,000, an increase of 80,000 people.
At the same time, the participation rate for blacks dropped from 61.2 percent in February to 61.0 percent in March.
The unemployment rate for blacks in March was 10.1 percent, the BLS data show. That’s almost double the current 5.5 percent nationwide. In February the jobless rate for blacks was 10.4 percent.
The jobless rate for black teens was a high 25.o percent, with one in four youths between the ages of 16-19 years actively seeking jobs, unemployed. The participation rate for black teens also dropped by 3.4 percent between February and March, from 29.1 percent to 25.7 percent.
The participation rate for older black males also declined from 67.3 percent in February to 67.2 percent in March, while for black women, 20 years and older, it rose marginally by 0.1 percent in March.