A PROFILE OF UNEMPLOYMENT IN NORTH CAROLINA: Workers of color have experienced higher unemployment rates than whites

In 2010, the unemployment rate for workers of color was higher than for whites in North Carolina.

  • The unemployment rate for African-Americans in 2010 in North Carolina was 17.2 percent, 8 percent higher than the rate for African-Americans nationally (15.9 percent). It was also significantly higher than the state unemployment rate for whites in 2010 (8.7 percent).
  • The unemployment rate for Latinos in 2010 in North Carolina was 10.7 percent, 2 percentage points higher than for whites in North Carolina in 2010.4

Over the course of the Great Recession, workers of color experienced a more dramatic loss of employment as well as a significant increase in their labor-force participation.

  • From 2007 to 2010, the number of employed persons in North Carolina declined by 5 percent. For African-Americans the decline in employment was 7.4 percent, and for Latinos it went up by 8.6 percent. These declines were higher than for whites, who saw a 5.2 percent decline in the number of employed persons.
  • Over this same period, the labor-force participation of whites remained constant, while labor force participation increased for African-Americans by 3 percent and for Latinos by 14.6 percent.6
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