Black employment ratio hits 7-year high

The employment-to-population ratio for black Americans climbed to 55.9% in October, the highest level in exactly seven years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

It was up one-tenth of a percent, or 10 basis points, from September. Here’s the chart.

black employment rateFusion, data via BLS

The labor force participation rate measures the number of employed and unemployed individuals as a percent of their overall working-age population. Within the black workforce, the participation rate for men rose by 10 basis points in October, while the rate for women rose by 40 basis points.

The overall unemployment rate for black Americans was unchanged last month, at 9.2%. It’s more than double the unemployment rate for whites, which stood at 4.4%. Both were unchanged from September.

Among Hispanics, the unemployment rate dropped to an eight-year low of 6.3%.

hispanic unemployment rate

Hispanic labor force participation rates and employment-to-population ratios climbed slightly from September.

Analysts were extremely bullish on the overall jobs situation report issued by the BLS, which showed 271,000 payrolls added in October. That handily beat consensus analysts’ predictions of 180,000. The unemployment rate also fell to 5.0% from 5.1%. Here’s what University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers Tweeted.