Here’s where the US Black unemployment gap is highest

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In the wake of the pandemic in 2020, unemployment skyrocketed across the US. But job losses were not affecting all Americans equally, and by June 2020, the gap in the unemployment rate between Black and white people grew to a five-year high, according to Reuters.

Unemployment rates vary widely across the US. South Carolina has the lowest Black and African American unemployment rate at 6%. Illinois, on the other hand, sees highs of 17%. These are the states with the highest and lowest Black unemployment rates.

Note: Data is unavailable for the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

35. Illinois

  • Unemployment rate: 17.0%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.6
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 36
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 31

34. District Of Columbia

  • Unemployment rate: 16.8%
  • Black/white ratio: 6.4
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 35
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 36

33. Connecticut

  • Unemployment rate: 15.4%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.1
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 34
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 24

32. Michigan

  • Unemployment rate: 13.9%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.1
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 33
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 22

31. Nevada

  • Unemployment rate: 13.6%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.5
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 32
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 7

30. New York

  • Unemployment rate: 13.5%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.8
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 31
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 13

29. Wisconsin

  • Unemployment rate: 13.4%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.8
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 30.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 33.0

28. Pennsylvania

  • Unemployment rate: 12.9%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.2
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 29.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 26.0

27. Louisiana

  • Unemployment rate: 12.5%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.6
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 28
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 29

26. Oklahoma

  • Unemployment rate: 12.0%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.7
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 27.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 32.0

25. California

  • Unemployment rate: 11.9%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.4
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 26
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 3

24. Florida

  • Unemployment rate: 11.4%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.1
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 25
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 25

23. Arizona

  • Unemployment rate: 11.4%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.6
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 24
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 10

22. Tennessee

  • Unemployment rate: 11.3%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.1
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 23.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 23.0

21. Texas

  • Unemployment rate: 10.9%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.7
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 22.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 11.0

20. West Virginia

  • Unemployment rate: 10.9%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.8
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 21.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 14.0

19. Rhode Island

  • Unemployment rate: 10.6%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.4
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 20.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 4.0

18. New Jersey

  • Unemployment rate: 10.6%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.5
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 19
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 9

17. Mississippi

  • Unemployment rate: 10.6%
  • Black/white ratio: 3.0
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 18
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 34

16. Delaware

  • Unemployment rate: 9.7%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.6
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 17
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 30

15. Georgia

  • Unemployment rate: 9.6%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.5
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 16
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 28

14. Massachusetts

  • Unemployment rate: 9.4%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.3
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 15
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 2

13. Missouri

  • Unemployment rate: 9.4%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.9
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 14
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 18

12. North Carolina

  • Unemployment rate: 9.2%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.7
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 13
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 12

11. Ohio

  • Unemployment rate: 9.2%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.9
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 12
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 20

10. Nebraska

  • Unemployment rate: 8.5%
  • Black/white ratio: 3.2
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 11
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 35

9. Kentucky

  • Unemployment rate: 8.4%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.4
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 10
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 5

8. Maryland

  • Unemployment rate: 8.1%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.4
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 9
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 6

7. Kansas

  • Unemployment rate: 8.0%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.3
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 8
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 27

6. Virginia

  • Unemployment rate: 7.7%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.8
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 7.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 17.0

5. Indiana

  • Unemployment rate: 7.3%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.8
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 6
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 15

4. Washington

  • Unemployment rate: 7.1%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.0
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 4.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 1.0

3. Arkansas

  • Unemployment rate: 7.1%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.9
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 3
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 19

2. Alabama

  • Unemployment rate: 6.1%
  • Black/white ratio: 2.0
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 2
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 21

1. South Carolina

  • Unemployment rate: 6.0%
  • Black/white ratio: 1.5
  • Rank by unemployment rate: 1.0
  • Rank by Black/white unemployment rate: 8.0

Methodology

To calculate updated unemployment rates by race, Finder uses the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics data. Since demographic data by state is only released annually, we used the most recent State Employment Status Demographic Data release from 2019 and projected the unemployment rate ratios by race based on the Current Unemployment Rates for States to determine the estimated unemployment rate by race as of December 2020.

Explanation of Black/white unemployment rate ratio meaning:

  • This is the Black unemployment rate divided by the white unemployment rate.
    • A ratio of less than one signifies that the white unemployment rate is greater than the Black unemployment rate. In other words, unemployment is worse among white workers than Black workers.
    • A ratio of exactly one signifies that the white unemployment rate is equal to the Black unemployment rate. In other words, unemployment is equal between Black and white workers.
    • A ratio of greater than one signifies that the Black unemployment rate is greater than the white unemployment rate. In other words, unemployment is worse among Black workers than white workers. The higher the number, the greater the disparity in unemployment between Black and white workers.
  • None of the states we look at have a Black/white unemployment rate ratio of less than one, and only one state has a ratio of about one. That means that in all the states, the Black unemployment rate is worse than the white unemployment rate.
  • Other race ratios calculate to less than one. For instance, there are states where the Asian/white unemployment rate ratio is less than one, meaning there are some states where unemployment is worse among white workers than Asian workers.

This article originally appeared on Finder.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com

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