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Gap in U.S. Black and white unemployment rates is widest in five years

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Gap in US black and white work forceThe United States saw the widest gap in unemployment rates for African Americans and whites in five years in June, underscoring an uneven nascent recovery from historic job losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jobless rates for both groups fell in June, but the rate for whites came down at a much faster rate. The white unemployment rate fell 2.3 percentage points to 10.1% from 12.4%, while the rate for Blacks dropped 1.4 points to 15.4% from 16.8%, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

At 5.3 percentage points, the gap is now the widest since May 2015 and exposes an important economic component of racial inequality at a pivotal moment in U.S. race relations. The country has been rocked by nationwide protests over police brutality against African Americans in recent weeks, following the death of a Black man in police custody in Minneapolis.

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