The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the unemployment rate “changed little” in April. The jobless rate fell from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent.
The black unemployment rate was 13 percent in April, down from 14 percent in March.
There was a slight dip in black teen unemployment.
The jobs report don't tell the whole story. While private sector added 130,000 jobs in April, state and local governments shed 15,000 employees. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute found that African Americans and women are hit hardest by downsizing in the public sector:
The disproportionate share of women and African Americans working in state and local government has translated into higher rates of job loss for both groups in these sectors. Between 2007 (before the recession) and 2011, state and local governments shed about 765,000 jobs. Women and African Americans comprised about 70 percent and 20 percent, respectively, of those losses. Conversely, Hispanic employment in state and local public-sector jobs increased during this period (although most of that increase likely occurred in the lowest-paid jobs).
Job losses in the state and local public sectors stand in contrast to the jobs recovery in the private sector. From February 2010 (the month the labor market “bottomed out”) to January 2012, the United States experienced a net increase in total nonfarm employment of more than 3.2 million jobs, while state and local government employment fell by 438,000. Over this period, every major sector of the economy experienced net growth in jobs except the public sector.