The unemployment rate for black workers fell to the lowest rate on record in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.
The rate fell from 7.2 percent to 6.8 percent in the month, beating the previous low of 7 percent set in April 2000. The bureau has data going back to 1972.
The data point is one of several encouraging milestones that have been reached as the jobs recovery has stretched into its eighth year.
Unemployment also hit a record low for Hispanic Americans in November, although that rate ticked up slightly in December.
"The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the economic policies adopted over the past 7 years have been effective in putting people back to work," said Marvin Owens, Jr., director of economic programs for the NAACP. "And while the current administration will undoubtedly try to take credit for these results, the truth is that the current administration inherited an overall economy that had been in 7 years of recovery."
In fact, President Trump's Council of Economic Advisers didn't directly take credit for the milestone in a post on the jobs reports on the White House website. White House spokesman Raj Shah did say, though, on Twitter that the improvement in the black unemployment rate was attributable to Trump's economic policies.
Meanwhile, the gap between black unemployment at white unemployment fell to the lowest level on record in December.
Nevertheless, black Americans still face significantly higher rates of unemployment than do other races and ethnic groups.
"Economic conditions for a great many African-Americans remain dire," said Owens, noting also the slow wage growth of recent years. Median black household income is still below its 2000 level, according to the latest Census data, even as other races have seen their earnings recover.
And the unemployment rate for black teenagers remains high at 22.9 percent, although that rate is down from near 50 percent in the worst days of the recession.
The unemployment rate for white teenagers, for example, is 12.3 percent.