FACT CHECK: Is Unemployment In Black America The Lowest Since ‘The Turn Of The Millennium’?
President Donald Trump claimed that “African American unemployment is at its lowest point since almost the turn of the millennium” during a Wednesday speech in North Dakota.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that Trump’s claim is false. Unemployment in the black community was its “lowest” since “almost the turn of the millennium” back in June 2017.
BLS data for the unemployment rate of the U.S. as a whole stretches back to 1948. The BLS did not, however, start publishing a breakdown of the unemployment rates of specific demographic groups – such as black people and other racial groups – until 1972.
Since January 1972, BLS data shows that black unemployment rate was its historic lowest at 7 percent back in April 2000, just four months after the “turn of the millennium.”
The lowest the black community unemployment has reached since April 2000 is 7.1 percent back in June 2017. The unemployment rate for black people as of August 2017, on the other hand, stands at 7.7 percent.
Trump was probably speaking in generalities, as the average monthly black unemployment rate for 2017 so far is 7.7 percent, just a tenth of a percentage point below the 7.6 percent average for the boom year of 2000. However, Trump’s specific claim that unemployment in the black community is currently at its “lowest” since “the turn of millennium” is incorrect.
Editor’s Note: The Daily Caller News Foundation chose to start the numbers at 2000, but whether it is 2000 or 2001, the verdict is not affected.
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