The unemployment rate fell in December for all U.S. workers except Black women.
While the headline hiring number came in much lower than expected in December, the overall unemployment rate dipped to 3.9% last month from 4.2% in November, the Labor Department reported Friday.
However, the unemployment rate for Black women jumped to 6.2% last month from 4.9% — the only race and gender group whose unemployment rate worsened in December.
The increase in the unemployment rate among Black women in December followed a roughly 2 percentage-point drop in November. Some economists saw that decrease as a cautious sign of improvement for Black women seeking jobs.
"The data for smaller demographic groups tend to be pretty volatile," said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute. "We need to look at longer-term trends to see what is happening."