Record 12,202,000 Black Americans Not in Labor Force

By Ali Meyer | April 3, 2015 | 10:42 AM EDT

(AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - A record 12,202,000 black people were not in the labor force in March, as the participation rate for this group declined over the month to 61.0 percent, according to data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

According to the BLS, the more than 12 million black people not in the labor force in March means that they did not have a job or actively seek one in the past four weeks. The number climbed from 12,122,000 in February to 12,202,000 in March, an increase of 80,000.

The labor force participation rate for this group, which is the percentage of the population who participated in the labor force by either having a job or actively seeking one, declined from 61.2 percent in February to 61.0 percent in March.

The unemployment rate for black people in March was 10.1 percent, which is nearly double the overall national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent. Last month, the unemployment rate for black people was 10.4 percent.

For black teens, age 16 to 19 years old, the unemployment rate was even higher at 25.0 percent, meaning that one in four black teens who were actively seeking a job did not have one. The participation rate for this group also declined 3.4 percentage points from 29.1 percent in February to 25.7 percent in March.