Jobs Friday: The Racial Unemployment Gap : Planet Money The unemployment rate for black workers is roughly twice that of white workers - and has been for half a century. Today we discuss the reasons for the gap, and how to shrink it.
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Jobs Friday: The Racial Unemployment Gap

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Jobs Friday: The Racial Unemployment Gap

Jobs Friday: The Racial Unemployment Gap

Jobs Friday: The Racial Unemployment Gap

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/803914079/803915060" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The ratio of the unemployment rate of black workers to white workers in the U.S. is two to one. Darius Rafieyan /NPR hide caption

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Darius Rafieyan /NPR

The ratio of the unemployment rate of black workers to white workers in the U.S. is two to one.

Darius Rafieyan /NPR

It's Jobs Friday, and today's jobs report shows the unemployment rate has remained low, at 3.6 percent. For white workers, the rate is even lower, close to 3 percent. But for African-American workers, the unemployment rate is double that, at 6 percent.

This ratio of two to one for black to white unemployment rates in the U.S. has persisted since the 1970s, regardless of the state of the economy. It's known as the racial unemployment gap. Economist Gbenga Ajilore joins us to discuss what has contributed to this disparity, and how systemic changes can start to narrow the gap.

Some links to sources referenced in today's episode:

- Gbenga Ajilore's twitter feed

- Bureau of Labor Statistics

- Economic Policy Institute

- Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

- Center for American Progress

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