By Clarissa Hamlin
The September jobs report was either noteworthy or disappointing, depending on how you look at it. Black unemployment fell slightly for the second consecutive month, and this decrease had nothing to do with Trump. However, overall, the economy added a lower number of jobs than expected.
The African-American unemployment rate went from 6.3 percent to 6 percent, the second lowest on record behind 5.9 percent in May, according to the U.S. Labor Department who released the report on Friday. The decline suggests that Blacks had a less tough time with finding work. However, the change was little compared to August’s job report.
In line with Black unemployment was the overall unemployment rate, which fell from 3.9 percent to 3.7 percent, lowest since December 1969, the department said.
On the flip side, the economy only added 134,000 jobs last month, down from 201,000 in August. As to what may have accounted for the dramatic variation between the two numbers, the likely answer had less to do with Trump and more to do with the effects of Hurricane Florence.
The employment rate in the leisure and hospitality fields showed little change in September, a contrast from the modest upward trend that had been in place before last month, the Labor Department said. The rate fell 17,000 last month. The slowed growth could be a result of Florence, which hit residents in the Carolinas hard, especially those of color.
The storm likely reduced employment in the affected states, USA Today reported.
In looking ahead to next month, when Florence’s possible effects may be less daunting, a new problem may arise. The Trump administration tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports — along with China’s retaliation against US imports — took effect last month and has hit many consumer goods. The actions could slow hiring, according to USA Today.
The Black unemployment rate under Trump has been largely a source of concern, with many African Americans worried about increases or stagnant immobilization when it comes to joblessness. Many Americans will be looking at the employment rate, especially with the midterm elections coming in November.