WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rates for black Americans and Asian-Americans hit record lows in May, aided by solid hiring that is benefiting a wider range of demographic groups.
The jobless rate for black Americans tumbled to 5.9 percent from 6.6 percent in April. May’s figure marks the second straight month that the rate has hit a record low in government records dating to 1972.
The unemployment rate for Asian Americans fell to 2.1 percent, the lowest level since record-keeping began in 2003.
With the jobless rate so low, employers have complained for months about the difficulty of finding workers to fill jobs. That’s helping those with lower education levels. The jobless rate for those with only a high school diploma fell to 3.9 percent, a 17-year-low.
All told, employers added 223,000 jobs in May. The unemployment rate fell to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent.
The data for demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report.