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Unemployment - Race, Gender, And Marital Status

Jobs and Career OpportunitiesCareers and Occupations: Looking to the FutureUnemployment - By States, Age, Race, Gender, And Marital Status, Education And Unemployment, Occupations And Industries - INTERNATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT


Unemployment does not affect all demographic groups equally. Many African-Americans, for instance, FIGURE 3.1 Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, February 2003–January 2006 "Chart 1. Unemployment Rate, Seasonally Adjusted, February 2003–January 2006," in The Employment Situation: January 2006, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 3, 2006, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf (accessed February 7, 2006)work in occupations that have suffered as the American economy has changed from an industrial to a service economy, and, as in the overall unemployment picture, the youngest workers are particularly affected. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, African-American teenagers aged sixteen to nineteen experienced an unemployment rate of 33.3% in 2005 as compared with 14.2% for white teenagers and 12.4% for Asians. Even within the racial group, black male teenagers (36.3%) were more likely to be unemployed in 2005 than black female teenagers (30.3%).

In 2005 African-American men, with a 10.5% unemployment rate, were considerably more likely to be out of work than Hispanic men (5.4%), white men (4.4%), or Asian men (4%). In 2005 unemployment affected men and women overall to the same degree (5.1%), and white men and white women to the same degree (4.4%), but affected Hispanic women (6.9%) more than Hispanic men (5.4%) and African-American men (10.5%) more than African-American women (9.5%). (See Table 3.3.)

According to data compiled by the BLS in Employment and Earnings (January 2006), a married person was much less likely to be unemployed than a single, widowed, or divorced individual in 2005. This observation held true across all races. In 2005 single, never-married males aged sixteen and over (9.5%) had more than three times the unemployment rate of married males (2.8%). Widowed, divorced, or separated males (5.6%) had twice the unemployment rate of married men. While only 2.5% of white, married men were unemployed in 2005, 8.2% of single white men and 5% of widowed, divorced, or separated white males were out of work. Among African-Americans, 5.1% of married men aged sixteen years and older were unemployed in 2005, com-pared with 9.5% of widowed, divorced, or separated men and 16.9% of single blacks. (See Table 3.3.)

The same situation held true for married, single, divorced, widowed, and separated women. While only 3.3% of married women were unemployed in 2005, the unemployment rate of widowed, divorced, or separated women was 5.4%. Among single females, 8.3% were unemployed in 2005. Single, white women over the age of sixteen (6.8% in 2005) were markedly more likely to be out of work than married white women (3%), and single, black women (13.9%) were significantly more likely to be unemployed than married black women (5.2%). (See Table 3.3.)

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