Unemployment: Who's Been Hit the Hardest?

unemploymentWhile the most recent numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that very little has changed since January and unemployment rates held at 9.7%, they also reveal some fascinating facts on which gender, race, age and education levels are taking the hardest hits in this economy.

The Race to the Unemployment Line

For those of you who read Which Race Earns Most in US? it will come as no surprise that Asians have the lowest unemployment rate, at 8.4 percent, well below the 9.7% national average. Caucasians have the next lowest, at 8.8 percent. Hispanics or Latinos are above the national average, at 12.4 percent. The race with the highest unemployment rates is black or African American--15.8 percent of their population registers as unemployed.

  1. Asian [8.4%]
  2. Caucasian [8.8%]
  3. Hispanic/Latino [12.4%]
  4. African American [15.8%]

Men or Women?

When it comes to gender, adult women in America have an unemployment rate of 8 percent, a full two points lower than adult US males, 10 percent of whom are unemployed. But teenagers have it worse than anyone--those from ages 16-19, including both males and females, have an unemployment rate of a whopping 25.8 percent, which sounds pretty dire, until you consider the fact that most teenagers are not heads of household, and their incomes are more discretionary. Also, that number is down from January's numbers, when 26.9 percent of them were considered unemployed.

Since gender specifics for Asians were not made available, the numbers at hand make it appear that if you're a white woman over 20, you have the best chance of being employed in the US right now. Their unemployment rate is only 7.4 percent. Black males in the same age category have the highest unemployment rate at 16.2 percent, while white males over 20 have a 10.7 unemployment rate. 13.5 percent of Latino men over 20 are officially unemployed, while 11.3 percent of Latino women are in the same boat.

  • Lowest Unemployment: 20+ Caucasian Women [7.4%]
  • Highest Unemployment: 20+ African American Men [16.2%]

The Value of an Education

Erasing gender, race and age distinctions and going only by education level, there's more proof that a Bachelor's degree really pays off. Only five percent of those with college degrees are officially unemployed right now, while 8.4 percent of those with some college or an associate's degree are out of work. Those with only a high school diploma and no college are above the overall 9.7 percent average, at 11.5. And it's those who haven't graduated high school that are suffering most -- 17.9 percent of them are unemployed.

  • Bachelor's Degree [5%]
  • Associate's Degree [8.4%]
  • High School Diploma [11.5%]
  • No High School Diploma [17.9%]

Going by those numbers, it's probably safe to say that if you're a college-educated Asian woman, the current economy has been kindest to you. But it appears to be harshest for you if you're an African American male without a high school education. Across the board, this is the perfect time to go back to school.

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Must live in Michigan!!!!

March 21 2010 at 10:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theresa avera


March 09 2010 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theresa avera

no one wants to work that hard and write a well researched piece. to hard for them. it's easier to keep saying the same thing over and over again. YAWN

March 09 2010 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
theresa avera

I have been unemployed for over a year. I have e-mailed 427 resumes out to the world. I have changed it up and dumbed it down. I would do almost anything to get a job at this point.
I have two master degrees and a BA. I have had interviews three times I have heard "you sound so much younger on the phone". Yes I could most likely sue them but why...
I am 59 years old and I am to young to collect retirement and to old to get a job. I am a professional and companies can hire younger cheaper people. I have told interviewers that I am happy to take less money than my prior position but they have said that would make me unhappy. I'm glad they know me so well.

I have an excellent work back ground with several awards both from the community and the various companies. All this doesn't matter in times like these. People like me are not even counted on the unemployment numbers because we are done collecting out benifits. We are not counted or used on any statistic that I have heard or read about. The other population is the kids that graduated from college last year. What about them? Do we know how many don't have a job yet? Someone that realy wants to investigate an important story that is worth writting should jump on this. Yes it would be more difficult to research but more important that writting the same stuff over and over again.

the bottom line is people like me will end up losing their house and all their dreams. People like me have always paid every bill on time. We have never gone into debt and always paid out taxes etc.

All of the information I read is the same old stuff. It is just written differently.

March 09 2010 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to theresa avera's comment

Theresa,I myself have been unemployed for a year so your story sounds so familiar to me.I am 53 years old and finding a job is like winning the lotto!!!!,I worked in the healthcare industry for 19 years and to no avail cannot find anything I have been on interviews but no luck,so to all of us who have no income or jobs something has to change for the better,GOOD LUCK

March 09 2010 at 6:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes, your store is way too familiar with many unemployed of us over a certain age that is never mentioned when we get turned down. When I say to disregard my past salary history as I will work and give my many years of knowledge, experience and mentoring for a fraction of what I made, I still get turned down.
Those who do not have the misfortune of being older with so much experience, while getting turned down, do not know the frustration of not knowing what to do next. There has to be something that can be done and I know that we all would love to hear any and all suggestions as we have a lot to give for a lot less than ever before in our lives. Any help would be most appreciated.

March 10 2010 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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