African American Jobless Rate Declines, Still Almost Double the National Average

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    The number of African Americans in the unemployment line has declined with March’s unemployment rate dropping to 13.3 percent. According to figures released by the Dept. of Labor Friday morning, it was13.8 percent in February.

    The national unemployment rate decreased to 7.6 percent from 7.7 percent.

    Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that for the week ending March 30 the number of new unemployment claims sprung to a 4-month high of 385,000.

    For the week ending March 18, the total number of people receiving unemployment was 5,288,614 compared to 7,050,710 during the same week in 2012, according to the most recent statistics available said BET.com.

    The US economy added 88,000 jobs, which is the fewest added in nine months. The decrease in the unemployment rate was mostly due to about 500,000 people no longer looking for work.

    Economists surveyed by Newswire predicted the economy would add 200,000 new jobs in March. Automatic Date Process, the payroll provider, estimated 158,000 jobs.

    Reuters attributed the lagging hiring to the dwindling demand for construction workers.

    Sequestration, otherwise known as programmed extensive federal budget cuts, is also a concern because as soon as it is felt its effects will be indicative of the economy’s continued weakness.

    Alan Krueger, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said that the “arbitrary and unnecessary cuts” mean less investment in the nation’s future competitiveness and warned that the sequester could eliminate 750,000 full-time jobs by the end of the year.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, however, insisted that the Democrats were just making excuses for why unemployment was still  high, and did not have enough solutions. He made no comment about the lower jobless rate and used the “disappointing” report to push the Support Knowledge and Investing in Lifelong Skills (SKILLS) Act, a job training bill recently passed in the House.

    The SKILLS Act was passed March 15 to assist employers, curb bureaucracy and provide workers with job training services, according to its sponsors.

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