Black unemployment in NYC four times higher than whites: report

A city report has found that NYC's Black unemployment rate is four times higher than that of whites.
In a monthly snapshot of the city’s economy, the city Economic Development Corporation found that Black unemployment in the city is four times higher than for their white counterparts.
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In a monthly snapshot of the city’s economy by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Black unemployment in the city is four times higher than that of their white counterparts.

In the EDC’s review of the city’s fourth-quarter numbers – a 92-day period from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022 – the report estimates the city’s Black unemployment rate at 11% and white unemployment rate at 2.8%.

When asked by the Bronx Times how these disparities have persisted, a spokesperson from the EDC said they didn’t have a definitive answer for the cause.

And these disparities in unemployment are also being reflected in national data. The U.S. unemployment rate declined overall in December, but rose for Black women and Hispanic men, according to the latest nonfarm payrolls report.

One of the takeaways from the report is that the city’s labor market has convalesced from the height of the pandemic, with the private sector adding jobs for 11 consecutive months.

The Bronx’s unemployment rate to end the year hovered in the mid-7% range after spiking to more than 20% in March 2020 and 10% in the beginning of 2022. However, health care and social assistance sectors, prominent employers of Bronx workers, adding 65,000 jobs in 2022.

But job growth and job postings are declining, the report suggests due to companies slowing their hiring activity.

In an effort to better track these unemployment trends, the EDC is tracking separate unemployment rates for BIPOC, Black and white residents.

Since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, youth unemployment in the city has also yet to rebound as it has nationally and throughout the state. Youth unemployment — 16-to-24-year-olds — in NYC stands at nearly 18%, with unemployment among young men hovering around 24%, a total that dwarfs the city’s overall rate of 5.6%.

Unemployment rates among young adults are also being felt along racial lines, with Black (18.5%), Hispanic and Asian (both 23.3%) workers in the city at higher rates than their white (16.2%) counterparts.

Reach Robbie Sequeira at or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes