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Jobless Rate for Black Americans Continues to Fall

The overall U.S. jobless rate rose to 3.8 percent

Black Americans were the only U.S. racial or ethnic group to see a drop in their jobless rate in August, helping drive the gap between the rates for Black people and white people back to near a record low.

A rise in the jobless rate to 6 percent for African Americans in June as rates for other key demographic groups fell or held steady had raised concerns among some economists that it might signal a broader weakening of the job market might be at hand. The unemployment rate for Black Americans historically has risen before an approaching recession and typically has turned higher before that of other groups.

But figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the rate for Blacks dropped for a second straight month. August's half-percentage point drop to 5.3 percent came as the rates for whites, Hispanics and Asian Americans all rose.

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