Black women are the hardest hit by a slumping labor market, according to the first jobs report of the Biden administration.
The unemployment rate for black women jumped from 7.7 percent to 9 percent, among the Department of Labor’s demographic reports. The national unemployment rate fell in January.
The unemployment rate for white women remained at 5.3 percent. The unemployment rate for white men rose three-tenths of a point to 6.2 percent. The unemployment rate for black men rose just one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.4 percent.
The Department of labor does not separate Asian unemployment by sex. Asian unemployment also jumped from 5.8 to 6.6 percent in January.
The unemployment rate for Hispanic women rose from 8.8 percent to 9.2 percent. The unemployment rate for Hispanic men fell one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.9 percent.
As the Biden administration begins, back women’s jump in unemployment is an awkward contrast with the goal to lower racial and gender inequalities.
“I’ve been an economist for a long time, and one of the areas where I’ve focused my attention is on the racial disparity in economic outcomes,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in talks with members from local Black Chambers of Commerce on Friday.
The jobs lost following Biden’s election is testing that focus.