Forty-Two Consecutive Months Of Job Growth Hides Disproportionate Impact On Harlem-Like Households  

July 5, 2024

The U.S. economy continued its record-breaking job creation run, adding 206,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in June 2024.

This is outpacing economists’ expectations of 190,000 jobs, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This marks the forty-second month in a row of job growth, by far the longest sustained increase in job creation since the government began tracking these data in 1915.

“… the first time the rate has risen above 4% …”

The unemployment rate increased marginally to 4.1% (from 4.0% last month), the first time the rate has risen above 4% ending the longest stretch at or below 4% unemployment since the Vietnam War.

The following is a statement from Marisa Calderon, president and CEO of Prosperity Now:

“Forty-two consecutive months of job growth is an incredible achievement. Despite a modest increase in the overall unemployment rate, the American economy continues to grow at a rate better than just about any other industrial economy in the world. That said, it is important for us to grapple with the fact that not everyone shares in this success. 

“In May, numbers released showed unemployment rose in 269 of the 389 metropolitan areas across the country, leading to further economic stratification between the largest and most prosperous areas and those that continue to decline. This month, unemployment among Black households and Asian households increased while it slightly decreased for Hispanic households. 

“… lack of access to affordable capital and rising prices …”

“Inflation and interest rates are also creating barriers to prosperity in households of color and in rural households more broadly. The increase in unemployment, the lack of access to affordable capital and rising prices are holding back some communities from feeling our nation’s continued growth, and we need to deal with those issues now or we will further disadvantage these communities’ ability to keep pace.” 

The Numbers

  • The unemployment rate (4.1%) changed little in June (from 4.0%). Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates in communities of color increased slightly in Black communities (6.3% vs. 6.1% in June), and Asian communities (4.1 % vs. 3.1% in June), while dipping slightly for Hispanic communities (4.9% vs. 5.0% in June). White unemployment remained at 3.5%   
  • The nation’s job gains have consistently come in stronger than expected, and, until this month unemployment held at or below 4% for 30 consecutive months. 

Prosperity Now

Since 1979, Prosperity Now has been a persistent voice championing economic opportunity, innovating outside of and beyond existing systems to build power for all communities. We advance racial and ethnic economic justice by investing in bold new ideas, and we work deeply at both the grassroots and national level to impact the entire ecosystem. By setting goals for our economy and following through with targeted approaches based on need, we are equipped to drive forward and cement big structural solutions. Learn more at 

Photo credit: HWM.

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