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In black neighbourhoods, Trump's economic boasts ring hollow

Last Updated Oct 11, 2018 at 7:00 pm EDT

FILE - Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, Rapper Kanye West speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House with President Donald Trump, in Washington. It's one of President Donald Trump's favorite talking points in touting his administration's success: The record low rate of black unemployment. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

PHILADELPHIA – The record low rate of black unemployment is one of President Donald Trump’s favourite talking points in touting his administration’s success.

But while black employment may have improved, that hasn’t translated into broader economic gains.

That’s partly because African-Americans are still disproportionately toiling in lower-quality jobs. Black people make up roughly one-fifth of those working in temporary jobs, a figure that hasn’t changed much in the past five years. Just 12 per cent of all Americans are black.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for black Americans was 6 per cent in September. That’s down from a high of 21.1 per cent in 1983 but is still double the overall national unemployment rate of 3.7 per cent.