Data Bank Focus: Unemployment

October 21, 2011

While the overall U.S. unemployment rate has dropped 0.4 percentage points in the past year, from 9.5 to 9.1, there has been disparity among racial and ethnic groups. In fact, for blacks, the rate has risen 0.7 percentage points. Asians have experiened a modest drop in unemployment and whites a disproportionate 0.7 percentage point drop. Hispanic and Latino workers realized the biggest gains, with a 0.8 percentage point drop. The best hedge against unemployment is education, with rates ranging from 13.3 percent for those without a high school degree to 4.6 percent for those with a bachelor's degree or higher.