White men and recent vets among big winners in April hiring

White men and recent veterans made strides in the U.S. labor market last month, landing jobs that reduced their unemployment rates to notable lows.

The jobless rate for veterans who have served in the armed forces anytime since September 2001 dropped to 3.9 percent from 5 percent in March. That is the lowest level recorded since the Labor Department began tracking the group in September 2008.

The unemployment rate for white men fell to 3.4 percent, the lowest level since March 2007. The overall number of white men over 20 years old who were employed rose, while the number of unemployed fell.

The improvement helped reduce the jobless rate for all adult men to 4 percent — the lowest since June 2007 — from 4.3 percent in March.

By education level, the unemployment rate for people with only a high school diploma dropped to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent the previous month. Jobless rates for workers with higher degrees were generally flat.

All told, employers added 211,000 jobs in April. The overall unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent from 4.5 percent in March.

The data for demographic groups came from a survey of households that is part of the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report.

Unemployment rate by group:
(Numbers in percentages) April 2017 March 2017 April 2016
White 3.8 3.9 4.3
Black 7.9 8.0 8.8
Asian 3.2 3.3 3.8
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity** 5.2 5.1 6.1
Adult men 4.0 4.3 4.6
Adult women 4.1 4.0 4.5
Teenagers 14.7 13.7 16.0
20-24 years old 7.3 7.3 8.8
25-54 years old 3.8 3.9 4.2
55 and over 3.2 3.4 3.6
Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan* 3.9 5.0 4.1
No high school diploma 6.5 6.8 7.5
High school graduate 4.6 4.9 5.4
Some college 3.7 3.7 4.1
College graduate 2.4 2.5 2.4
Duration of Unemployment:
Average length (weeks) 24.1 25.3 27.7
Jobless 6 months or more (pct.) 22.6 23.3 25.5
*Not seasonally adjusted
**Includes all races
Source: Labor Department

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