According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment among black Americans aged 16 years and over dropped to 7.5 percent in May. This is the lowest level recorded since December 2000. Since February, the agency has registered a decline in unemployment among black Americans: it fell from 8.1 percent in February, to 8.0 in March, to 7.9 in April and to 7.5 in May.
Overall, the unemployment rate in May was 4.3 percent: the lowest level since May 2001.
During the so-called Great Recession, black unemployment mushroomed to near Great Depression-era levels, reaching 16.8 percent in March 2010. At the time, black members of Congress blamed Barack Obama for the malaise. In August 2011, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said the rate of black unemployment was “unconscionable.” In September of that year, Waters slammed Obama failing to “acknowledge the economic disaster in the African American community” even while touting his job development program during a tour in Iowa.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), who was then the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, told reporters that same month, “If Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House.”
While campaigning last year in North Carolina, Donald Trump offered what he called a “new deal” to black Americans that incorporates: “safe communities, great education, and high-paying jobs.”