S. E. Williams | Voice Executive Editor
A report released by the California Employment Development Department in late April depicting a 12-month moving unemployment average showed the unemployment rate among Blacks did not change from March to April—both months posted a 12-month average of 13.9 percent.
At the same time, however, the unemployment rate for Whites dropped from a 12-month average of 10.9 percent in March to 10.2 percent in April, and for the Latinx community the 12- month average dropped from 12.5 in March to 11.8 in April.
Blacks appear to be the only ethnic group whose unemployment numbers continue to languish. This is not only true in California but across the nation. According to the April 2021 published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate among Blacks is nearly double that of Whites (9.7 percent versus 5.3 percent respectively).
At the start of the pandemic, the state lost approximately three million jobs and many of those lost are yet to be regained.
Two of the hardest-hit industries, hospitality and business services, which includes hotels, airports, and large event centers. On Tuesday, April 20, Governor Newsom signed SB93, the New Employee Recall Law, designed to ensure these industries offer new positions to qualified former employees laid off due to COVID-19, through 2024.
“SB 93 keeps us moving in the right direction by assuring hospitality and other workers displaced by the pandemic are prioritized to return to their workplace,” said Governor Gavin Newsom when the legislation was signed into law. Learn more about SB 91 here.
Status of Unemployment in the Inland Empire
In the meantime, employment data for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties released by the Employment Development Department on Friday, May 21 shows the combined unemployment rate for the region was 7.6 percent in April, down from a revised 7.7 percent in March, nearly reducing by half the area’s year-ago estimate of 15.2 percent.
This compares with an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent for California and 5.7 percent for the nation during the same period. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in Riverside County, and 7.7 percent in San Bernardino County.
Between March and April 2021 nonfarm employment in the area grew by 6,700 jobs and 200 jobs were gained in Agriculture. Most of the nonfarm employment gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, and food services.
S. E. Williams is editor of the IE Voice and Black Voice News.