Thursday at the Republican retreat in West Virginia, President Donald Trump said Democrats didn't applaud during State of the Union for his remarks on low African American and Hispanic unemployment because they would "rather see us not do well than see our country do great".
But Democrats have refused to credit Trump for the statistical feat because they say his policies have nothing to do with it, adding that black unemployment has been on a steady decline for years.
The 0.9 percentage-point rise was the most since June 2012.
Sophia Koropeckyj, a managing director for Moody's Analytics, told NBC News the one-month change isn't that unusual, particularly in January when new population controls are applied to unemployment labor data and other factors are at play.
Trump's chief economic adviser echoed a similar sentiment. "Look, if it's a trend it's very concerning". For Latinos, the unemployment was 4.9 percent in December, but the record low of 4.8 percent was reached earlier in 2007 and in 2006.
"It's something I'm very proud of", he said during his first State of the Union address Tuesday.
Of course, it's possible that African Americans who weren't actively looking for work before heard about the very low unemployment rate and made a decision to start looking for a job in January, when before they might have been deterred by a job market that is still less friendly to black people than whites. Additionally, many political observers attributed the drop in large part to President Barack Obama's administration, during which. He even tweeted about it in response to criticism from Jay-Z over the weekend.
What Trump conspicuously did not include in the tweet was the spike in black unemployment.
But Jay-Z was way ahead of him, telling CNN that the black unemployment rate doesn't make up for the president's divisive rhetoric.
"It's not about money at the end of the day", the rapper said. It doesn't. That's missing the whole point.
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