Workforce Policy

February 2024 Jobs Day Analysis

The Joint Center analyzes the employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and showcases how the numbers impact Black workers. Our February Jobs Day analysis is below.

February’s employment situation report showed a fairly strong and steady labor market for Black workers.

Last month, 63,000 additional Black workers joined the labor force while the Black unemployment rate saw a small increase to 5.6 percent.

Feb 2024 Jobs Day 1

At 4.8 percent, the unemployment rate for Black women was nearly unchanged in February. The rate for Black men increased from 5.7 percent in January to 6.4 percent last month.

Feb Jobs Day Graph 2

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for young Black workers increased to 11.7 percent, slightly higher than the rate for all young workers at 9 percent.

Feb 2023 Jobs Day 3

In last night’s State of the Union Address, President Biden noted the strength of the economic recovery as reflected in the strong job market. Specifically, he pointed to the historically low unemployment rate for Black workers. In February, the gap between Black and white workers was 2.2 percentage points.  In fact, over the past few years, the employment gap between Black and white workers has sustained historic lows.

Feb 2024 Jobs Day Graph 5

While the labor market is strong, there is still work to be done on ensuring jobs pay a life sustaining wage.

In the first few weeks of 2024, an alarming 18.7 percent of Black renters reported being behind on rent, compared to 11.1 percent of renters nation-wide.

During that same time period, 9.5 percent of Black homeowners reported they were behind on their mortgage payment, more than double the rate for all homeowners.

Feb 2024 jobs day graph 7

Additionally, 37 percent of Black households reported having either a somewhat or very difficult time paying for basic household expenses.

Feb Jobs Day Graph 6

Policy makers should take this opportunity to ensure every job is a quality job and that workers and learners are protected and supported. As the economy continues to grow and recover, it’s vital that Black workers and families are on the same trajectory.

Follow the Joint Center on X for monthly Jobs Day updates.