Joe Biden

ICYMI: "Black workers are enjoying a jobs boom in America"

February 15, 2024

Bidenomics and the President's Investing in America agenda is creating economic opportunities for Black Americans, with the lowest Black unemployment on record in 2023, 60,000 new clean energy jobs in Black communities, and a record-breaking $163 billion in federal procurement opportunities for small disadvantaged businesses.

As The Economist put it, "better job prospects for black Americans" are "reducing some of America's most persistent inequalities." President Biden will continue working to grow our economy from the middle out and bottom up so that it works for everyone—including Black workers and Black families.

Read more below:

The Economist: Black workers are enjoying a jobs boom in America
A tight labour market chips away at some of the most stubborn inequalities

It is a grim fact of American life that black people have long lagged well behind white folk in the world of work, with higher unemployment, lower wages and a larger share giving up on job searches altogether. A much more hopeful fact is that many of these inequalities now appear to be shrinking. In the half-century before the covid-19 pandemic, the black unemployment rate was on average twice as high as the white one. At the end of last year jobless rates were, respectively, 5.2% for black Americans and 3.7% for white people—equalling the narrowest gap on record.

Even more striking are shifting tides in labour-force participation. About 63% of black Americans are now deemed to be either in work or searching for jobs, more than the 62% level for white Americans—an inversion of the pattern seen in previous decades. In part this reflects demographic differences, because the median white American is about a decade older than the median black American and thus more likely to be retired. But it also testifies to better job prospects for black Americans: their median earnings were about 84% those of white Americans at the end of 2023, a sharp rise from the 79% average of the preceding two decades.

Black Enterprise: White House touts Black business gains, historically low unemployment
Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo and Senior Advisor Stephen Benjamin discussed the Biden-Harris administration's efforts to boost Black America.
[Derek Major, 02/08/24]

"As a result of the actions of the Biden administration, we're witnessing the most equitable recovery in American history," said Adeyemo. "There's more to do, but the president's agenda has led to significant economic gains for Black Americans; in particular, the unemployment rate for Black Americans peaked at 16.8% in May of 2020, meaning that 1 in 6 Black workers were unemployed. Driven by the resilience of Black America in the president's economic agenda, unemployment rates for Black Americans recovered far more quickly than in past recessions."

Additionally, the latest jobs report shows the share of Black Americans in the workforce is above pre-pandemic levels and near its highest level in two decades. Adeyemo also noted earnings for typical full-time Black workers are up 7.1% since before the pandemic, higher than the rate of inflation, and real median Black wealth is up 60% since 2019. During the call, Benjamin discussed how the administration has boosted small Black businesses and Black business owners, noting the Small Business Administration has surpassed the $1 billion mark in lending to Black-owned small businesses for the third year in a row, doubling that of fiscal year 2020.

Milwaukee Courier Newspaper: Biden-Harris Administration is Working to Ensure the Promise of America for Black Americans
[Karen Stokes, 02/10/24]

Both Biden and Harris are committed to investing in the future of Black communities, addressing issues like entrepreneurship, child poverty, healthcare, voting rights, police accountability, and education, including historic funding for HBCUs. This has led to the lowest Black unemployment rate and positive strides in various areas.

With the support of these efforts, Black Americans are starting new businesses, creating jobs, buying homes, and taking advantage of increased education opportunities at historic rates—contributing to a 60% increase in wealth compared to before the pandemic.

Atlanta Voice: 'It's not just wages': Black employment is up across U.S. says White House
[Donnell Suggs, 02/08/24]

Last year, Black unemployment levels reached record lows and is now just 5.3% compared to 9% three-plus years ago. No one person, administration or event can solely be given credit for this record level of Black employment, but these numbers are reason for optimism.

"It was really a strong year for Black workers," Deputy Director of National Economic Council Daniel Hornung told The Atlanta Voice during a recent phone interview on Thursday afternoon.

Joseph R. Biden, ICYMI: "Black workers are enjoying a jobs boom in America" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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