Raw Data: The Black-White Unemployment Gap

Just in case you’re interested in the reality-vs-fantasy quotient of Donald Trump’s latest claim that he’s been great for black unemployment—and I admit there’s no reason you should be—here’s the gap between the black and white unemployment rates:

It’s been falling ever since the end of the Great Recession, and nothing much changed when Trump became president. It’s fallen a little bit more since his inauguration, but that’s all.

On the bright side, this really is the lowest the gap has been since BLS started keeping records by race in 1972. In fact, the long-term trend is kind of interesting:

Ever since the end of the Reagan recession, the black-white unemployment gap has been on a pretty steady downward path that’s interrupted like clockwork by every recession. When times are bad, blacks are laid off at higher rates than whites, and only after the economy has started expanding do blacks make up their losses. The good news is that during economic expansions, the gap has been in the 4-5 percent range for the past two decades. The bad news is that the gap has been in the 4-5 percent range for the past two decades.

DONALD TRUMP & DEMOCRACY

Mother Jones was founded to do things differently in the aftermath of a political crisis: Watergate. We stand for justice and democracy. We reject false equivalence. We go after, and go deep on, stories others don’t. And we’re a nonprofit newsroom because we knew corporations and billionaires would never fund the journalism we do. Our reporting makes a difference in policies and people’s lives changed.

And we need your support like never before to vigorously fight back against the existential threats American democracy and journalism face. We’re running behind our online fundraising targets and urgently need all hands on deck right now. We can’t afford to come up short—we have no cushion; we leave it all on the field.

Please help with a donation today if you can—even just a few bucks helps. Not ready to donate but interested in our work? Sign up for our Daily newsletter to stay well-informed—and see what makes our people-powered, not profit-driven, journalism special.

payment methods

DONALD TRUMP & DEMOCRACY

Mother Jones was founded to do things differently in the aftermath of a political crisis: Watergate. We stand for justice and democracy. We reject false equivalence. We go after, and go deep on, stories others don’t. And we’re a nonprofit newsroom because we knew corporations and billionaires would never fund the journalism we do. Our reporting makes a difference in policies and people’s lives changed.

And we need your support like never before to vigorously fight back against the existential threats American democracy and journalism face. We’re running behind our online fundraising targets and urgently need all hands on deck right now. We can’t afford to come up short—we have no cushion; we leave it all on the field.

Please help with a donation today if you can—even just a few bucks helps. Not ready to donate but interested in our work? Sign up for our Daily newsletter to stay well-informed—and see what makes our people-powered, not profit-driven, journalism special.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate