Pence touts record-low black unemployment after January spike

Pence touts record-low black unemployment after January spike
© Getty Images

Vice President Pence on Wednesday touted record low rates of unemployment among African-Americans, even after numbers spiked in January.

"African-American unemployment — as we sit here on Frederick Douglass’s 200th bicentennial of his birth — African-American unemployment is at the lowest level ever recorded in American history," Pence said at an event hosted by Axios.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTeachers union launches 0K ad buy calling for education funding in relief bill FDA head pledges 'we will not cut corners' on coronavirus vaccine Let our values drive COVID-19 liability protection MORE has repeatedly taken credit for declining African-American unemployment rates.

ADVERTISEMENT

That rate fell to a record low of 6.8 percent in December. But according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black unemployment rose in January to 7.7 percent. 

The overall unemployment rate is currently 4.1 percent. 

Despite that increase, Trump touted the drop in black unemployment rates this week at a Black History Month reception at the White House. 

"We had the lowest African-American unemployment rate in the history of the country," he said. "We are very, very proud of that."

A White House official told Bloomberg that the Trump administration is monitoring the number to determine whether the drop is an outlier or the beginning of a larger trend. 

The unemployment rate among African-Americans has seen an overall decline since 2011, when former President Obama was still in office.