Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Unemployment Gains Target Obama Base Unemployment Gains Target Obama Base

This ad will end in seconds
Close X

Want access to this content? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation


Unemployment Gains Target Obama Base

Besides the obvious good news in the headline number, Friday's big unemployment report also contains some encouraging trends for President Obama buried below the top line.

Looking forward to 2012, one challenge for Obama has been that groups that he needs to turn out in big numbers -- groups at the core of his coalition -- have been among those hit hardest by the sustained downturn. Many of them are still suffering. But Friday's unemployment number showed bigger gains for African-Americans and Hispanics than for whites. And young people, another key Obama block from 2008 that has also been heavily affected, also saw big improvements. For each of those three groups, the unemployment rate is now the lowest it's been essentially since Obama took office.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in January for Hispanics dropped to 10.5 percent, down from 11 percent in December and 12 percent last January. The rate for African-Americans now stands at 13.6 percent, a sharp decline from 15.8 percent in December and 15.7 percent last January. In each case, that's still much higher than the 7.4 percent rate among whites, but the magnitude of improvement recently has been much better for Hispanics and African-Americans. (The white jobless rate has only inched down from 7.6 percent last November.) 

Don't Miss Today's Top Stories


Rick, Executive Director for Policy

Concise coverage of everything I wish I had hours to read about."

Chuck, Graduate Student

The day's action in one quick read."

Stacy, Director of Communications

I find them informative and appreciate the daily news updates and enjoy the humor as well."

Richard, VP of Government Affairs

Chock full of usable information on today's issues. "

Michael, Executive Director

Sign up form for the newsletter