Markets cheered on Friday as new data showed a surprising decline in unemployment, but black workers have little to celebrate.
The black unemployment rate rose slightly in May despite a decline of nearly two percentage points for white workers, a grim but familiar reminder of economic inequality that could serve as an early warning sign for the recovery to come.
The new data comes as protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody in Minneapolis last week, continue in dozens of cities around the country. While protesters are directly responding to disparities in policing, they have also pointed to systemic problems of income and wealth inequality, which were exacerbated during the recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.
White unemployment fell to 12.4% from 14.2% in April, while black unemployment rose to 16.8% from 16.7%.
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