By Imara Jones
Despite continued depression-like joblessness amongst blacks and Latinos, this morning’s official unemployment report registered the lowest overall jobless rate in five years. According to the Department of Labor, the percentage of those actively looking for work but who could not find it fell to seven percent. The jobless rate for African Americans is almost double that at nearly 13 percent and for Latinos it’s close to 9 percent. Overall the numbers show that the economy continues to inch forward but in a sideways sort of way.
Alongside the difficult black and Latino unemployment numbers is the fact that the November report showed surprising gains across the board. The number of people unemployed for less than five weeks fell by 300,000 and full-time work grew versus part-time work. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of workers are less discouraged about the job market than a year ago and the number of people opting out of job hunting due to frustration has stabilized, though it remains at a near thirty-five year low.