Unemployment rates fell for almost every major U.S. demographic group last year as employers added nearly 3 million jobs in the best annual gain since 1999. Still, the surge benefited some groups more than others.
College grads with at least a bachelor's degree fared particularly well. There were 2.25 million more of them employed in December than a year earlier. Their unemployment rate fell to 2.9 percent from 3.4 percent.
The hiring boom spanned all age groups, too. For workers older than 55, unemployment fell to 3.9 percent from 5.1 percent a year earlier.
At the same time, the historic gaps between racial and ethnic groups persisted. The unemployment rates for blacks and Hispanics both improved. But at 10.4 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively, unemployment remained markedly higher for those groups than for whites and Asians.
|Unemployment rate by group:|
|(Numbers in percentages)||Dec. 2014||Dec. 2013|
|20-24 years old:||10.8||11.1|
|25-54 years old:||4.7||5.8|
|55 and over:||3.9||5.1|
|Veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan*:||6.9||7.3|
|No high school diploma:||8.6||9.9|
|High school graduate:||5.3||7.0|
|Duration of Unemployment:|
|Average length (weeks):||32.8||36.8|
|Jobless 6 months or more (pct.):||31.9||37.3|
|* not seasonally adjusted|
|Source: Labor Department|