April Employment Numbers Show Unemployment Rate Decreases; But Employment Participation Rate is Low

(Washington, DC) – The NAACP has released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) April employment report which indicates that for the month of April, the national unemployment rate dropped to 6.3% with 733,000 fewer people counted as unemployed and 288,000 new jobs created. For African Americans, unemployment decreased to 11.6%; but employment participation rates also decreased dramatically.

From Dedrick Muhammad, Sr. Director of NAACP Economic Department:

“We are encouraged by the overall decrease in unemployment; but the employment participation rate also continues to decline particularly in the African American community. We cannot grow and strengthen the economy if we do not create more jobs and bring more workers into the labor market.  This is crucial to closing the racial economic divide and growing a solid middle class in the 21st century.”

The report also indicated major gains in temporary help (24,000), food service (33,000), and healthcare (19,000)  -- beating expectations.  The unemployment rate for Asians was 5.7%, for whites 5.3% and Latinos 7.3%.

Graph: NAACP


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities.  You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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