The unemployment rate is the lowest its been in seven years. In February alone, 295,000 workers were given job opportunities as the economy works its way to recovery. But while the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5%, the best its been since 2008, black women’s unemployment actually increased.
The National Women’s Law Center reports unemployment for women declined to “a more than six-year low in February, but the unemployment rate for Black women has increased over the last two months…” The unemployment rate for all women fell to 4.9%, but rose for the second consecutive month for black women to 8.9%.
Both adult Latinas and single mothers saw a rise in employment, but the groups still have a high rate of joblessness. From January to February, unemployment among adult Latinas dropped from 6.2% to 6.1%, and single mothers unemployment fell from 8.1% to 7.7%.
White women as a whole, however, experienced the recovery under more favorable circumstances. The unemployment rate started significantly lower than that of the other groups at 4.4 percent in January. The rate dropped even further to 4.2% in February. Last month’s rate was the lowest since June 2008, when it was also 4.2%.
Much work still needs to be done as it relates to women’s employment and wages amid the economic recovery. “February posted strong job gains and a decline in overall unemployment, but many women have yet to see a real recovery,” says Joan Entmacher, NWLC’s Vice President for Family Economic Security. “Four out of ten jobs women gained last month were in low-wage sectors that don’t pay enough to support a family.” She urges lawmakers to approve a federal budget that invests in education, job training, health care and infrastructure to promote more evenly shared prosperity, and not one that is of detriment to vital programs or that awards tax breaks for corporations or wealthy citizens.
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