Employment Rates for African Americans by Educational Attainment

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics presents data on the employment status of the U.S. adult population by race and educational attainment.

In 2022, only one third of the U.S. Black population who had not graduated from high school was employed. The unemployment rate for this group was 9.8 percent. The unemployment rate is calculated by the number of people actively looking for work who have been unable to find a job.

Nearly 55 percent of African Americans who graduated from high school but have no college experience were employed in 2022. Some 6.6 percent of Blacks with a high school diploma but no further education were unemployed. This was double the rate for similarly-educated Whites.

Blacks with some college experience but who had not obtained a bachelor’s or higher degree were more likely to be employed than similarly educated Whites. But once again, the unemployment rate for Blacks in this group, was about twice the rate for similarly educated Whites.

In 2022, nearly 76 percent of Blacks who had obtained a bachelor’s degree were employed, compared to 70.4 percent of Whites with a bachelor’s degree. It is likely that this difference occurs because Black women with a college degree are probably more likely to be employed than White women with a college degree.

Some 78 percent of Blacks with an advanced degree were employed in 2022 compared to 70.3 percent of Whites with an advanced degree.

The unemployment rates for Blacks with college degrees were very low, but still slightly higher than those of similarly educated Whites.

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