By Raksha Kopparam, Senior Research Associate
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on California’s labor market for July 2023. Below is the California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute’s analysis of data on the employment situation of Black women workers across the state.
In July, the employment to population ratio (EPOP) of Black women in California fell below 50 percent, while the EPOP of women of other races rose. Based on historical data, the tightening labor market means that Black workers, especially Black women, are more likely to be kept out of employment than workers of other demographic groups. Strong public investment in the labor market will help improve employment conditions for Black women.
While the Black women’s labor force participation rate (LFPR) in June was higher than that of other races, Black women’s LFPR fell below all other races in July. While this is indicative of a tightening labor market, there are other, less discussed, factors that contribute to shifts in labor force participation, including caregiving needs, the Federal Reserve’s decision to increase interest rates again, and even, as evidence shows, a weeks-long state-wide heatwave.
Despite lower LFPR and EPOP rates, Black women’s unemployment fell from 7.2 percent in June to 6.6 percent in July. Job growth in July was primarily fueled by increases in health services, government, and leisure and hospitality positions, all of which are industries with a significant share of Black women workers. Continuous investment in such industries and others that provide sustainable careers for Black women will have positive impacts on the state-wide economy.
About California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute:
CA Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute, a 501C3 non-profit organization, is focused on improving the lives of Black Women and Girls throughout the state. Through partnerships with corporate, social, not for profit and advocacy entities, the Empowerment Institute develops programs and initiatives that have a meaningful impact on dismantling systemic social, economic and physical barriers. For more information: CABlackWomensCollective.org