Black unemployment 2020: African Americans bear brunt of economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus, says Charisse Jones of USA Today

In 2018, the Economic Policy Institute wrote

Black unemployment is at least twice as high as white unemployment at the national level and in 12 states and D.C.

In the third quarter of 2018, African American workers had the highest unemployment rate nationally, at 6.3 percent, followed by Hispanic (4.5 percent), white (3.2 percent), and Asian workers (3.0 percent).

This report provides a state-by-state breakdown of unemployment rates by race and ethnicity, and racial/ethnic unemployment rate gaps for the third quarter of 2018. While there have been state-by-state improvements in prospects for black and Hispanic workers, their unemployment rates remain high relative to those of white workers. Following are some key highlights of the report:

While the African American unemployment rate is at or below its pre-recession level in 18 states (of the 21 states and the District of Columbia for which these data are available), in 12 states and the District of Columbia, African American unemployment rates exceed white unemployment rates by a ratio of 2.0-to-1 or higher.

The District of Columbia has a black–white unemployment rate ratio of 6.2-to-1, while Illinois and Louisiana have the highest ratios among states (3.0-to-1 and 2.8-to-1, respectively).

The highest African American unemployment rate is in the District of Columbia (12.4 percent), followed by Illinois (9.3 percent), Louisiana (8.5 percent), Alabama (7.1 percent), and New York (7.0 percent). The highest Hispanic state unemployment rate is in Nebraska (5.9 percent), followed by Connecticut (5.7 percent), Arizona (5.6 percent), Pennsylvania (5.6 percent), and Washington (5.6 percent). Meanwhile, the highest white state unemployment rate is 5.0 percent, in West Virginia.

The Hispanic unemployment rate is at or below its pre-recession level in 15 states (of the 17 states for which these data are available). There are two states in which the Hispanic unemployment rate is equal to or lower than the white rate (Colorado, 0.8-to-1, and Georgia, 0.9-to-1).

The largest gaps between Hispanic and white unemployment rates are in Nebraska (3.0-to-1), Idaho (1.9-to-1), and Virginia (1.9-to-1).

The full report can be viewed here

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