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Commuters arrive at Grand Central station during morning rush hour in New York, Nov. 18, 2021.Jeenah Moon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The U.S. job market posted strong growth and a decline in unemployment in July, but unemployment ticked higher among Black workers, further underscoring the ongoing discrepancies within the job market.

Friday's data report showed nonfarm payrolls rose 528,000 in July, blasting past Dow Jones' estimates of 258,000, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

While the findings signal that the economy is headed in the right direction, Black workers marked the only demographic group that saw the unemployment rate rise.

Across the board, unemployment rose to 6% for the group. When broken down by gender, Black men saw unemployment rise to 5.7%, while the rate declined to 5.3% among women.

"We can have really, really strong job growth this month, but it doesn't feel like a robust and broadly shared recovery," said Kathryn Zickuhr, a labor market policy analyst at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

At the same time, the labor force participation rate, which tracks how many people are employed or searching for work, grew among Black women to 62.3% in July, up from 62% in June. However, the rate ticked lower among men, shrinking to 67.3% in July, compared to 68.1% the month before.

It was also slightly lower for Black workers overall, slipping to 62% last month from 62.2% in June.

It's difficult to decipher what contributed to that shift, said Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute's program on race, ethnicity and the economy.

"I don't know how much of that is a signal of something really changing or just volatility of the data, because the longer term trend had been pretty positive, pretty strong, " she said.

Strong gains for women

Women have continued to make progress in the jobs recovery. The unemployment rate inched down to 3.1% for women ages 20 and up, compared to 3.3% in June.

The continuation of strong job growth from last month among women indicates that the gain may be more than "just a blip," said William Spriggs, chief economist to the AFL-CIO.

Broken down by ethnicity, Hispanic workers who are women saw a stark decrease in the unemployment rate, which fell to 3.2% in July. In the prior month, it was 4.5%.

While Black female workers saw their unemployment rate slip to 5.3%, it was still higher than the 2.6% rate for white women, an indicator of a longer-term trend, said Nicole Mason, president and CEO of the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

At the same time, reopening trends have contributed to a recovery in hospitality and leisure, which added 96,000 jobs. Latinas and other women of color are often overrepresented in the services sector, which could explain some of the numbers, she added.

That said, the data fails to paint a picture of the entire market as childcare and nursing care continue to lag behind the general recovery given that they offer lower wage and lack benefits, Mason added.

Despite these ongoing discrepancies, she remains optimistic about the job market going forward.

"Numbers can change or decline and we're continuing to add jobs which I think is a really good thing," Mason said. "I'm cautiously optimistic about growth, but I do believe we're more than headed in the right direction."

— Gabriel Cortes contributed reporting

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Tags: the unemployment rate the unemployment rate for black workers optimistic at the same time unemployment contributed the job market compared the economy among women among black

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Warnock raises $240,000 from Big Pharma execs despite calls to lower drug costs


Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) has raised more than $240,000 in campaign donations from Big Pharma executives and employees over the current midterm election cycle despite calls to lower prescription drug prices.

Warnock has received at least $240,364 from individuals who work for health companies, making him the third-largest beneficiary of money from the pharmaceutical sector, according to fundraising data compiled by OpenSecrets. Despite accepting contributions from pharmaceutical executives, Warnock has spent much of his campaign decrying Big Pharma companies and calling for lower prescription drug costs.

WARNOCK REPORTS $17.2 MILLION FUNDRAISING HAUL, VASTLY OUTPACING WALKER

“I won't stand by while corporations prey on Georgia families. I'm fighting against rising health care costs and Rx drug prices for folks in every corner of our state,” Warnock said in a tweet in July.

The Georgia Democrat has also previously criticized former opponents for accepting similar contributions, blaming high drug prices on Big Pharma donations to “Washington insiders like Kelly Loeffler.”

More than a third of the pharmaceutical donations came from executives and employees at Pfizer, Merck, and Novartis, according to campaign finance data from the Federal Election Commission. Warnock has also accepted contributions from Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk — three of the largest insulin manufacturers in the world.

Insulin manufacturers have been at the center of criticism for the high cost of the necessary diabetes medication, and Warnock has repeatedly pledged to lower those costs.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

Warnock has enjoyed a fundraising advantage over his challenger Herschel Walker, particularly in the last quarter, when the incumbent raised $17.2 million compared to Walker’s $6.2 million.

Walker and Warnock are set to face off during the general election on Nov. 8. While the race is expected to be tight, Warnock has enjoyed higher poll numbers over his Republican opponent, with 54% saying they’d vote for Warnock over Walker (44%), according to a Quinnipiac poll.

Neither candidate responded to requests for comment from the Washington Examiner.

Midterms 2022 Raphael Warnock Georgia News Herschel Walker

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