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Unemployment

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According to new Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the unemployment rate for black Americans jumped in January 2018. The black unemployment rate jumped from 6.8 percent in December to 7.7 percent in January. That rate is the highest it has been since April of last year, when the overall unemployment rate was 4.3 percent.

The 0.9-point increase is a big jump — but not an unprecedented one. It’s toward the far end of the distribution curve of monthly changes in the black unemployment rate; the biggest one-month change in that rate was in November 2005.

The unemployment rate for all groups tends to fluctuate a lot. Since 2010, there have been two months in which the black unemployment rate briefly spiked even more than it did between December and January 2018.

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