BET Founder Credits Trump’s Economy For Low African-American Unemployment

Written by Staff

The growing U.S. economy and improving business environment are bringing black workers back into the labor force, BET founder Robert Johnson told CNBC on Friday.

In January, the Labor Department reported the unemployment rate among black workers was at its lowest since at least the early 1970s when the government began tracking the data. The unemployment rate for black Americans spiked in January and then fell in February. The rate was unchanged in March at 6.9 percent.

Friday’s jobs report showed nonfarm payrolls rose 103,000 in March, falling well short of the 193,000 gain economist were expecting.

Johnson, the nation’s first black billionaire, spoke before the jobs report was released.

President-elect Donald Trump greets Robert Johnson (R), the founder of Black Entertainment Television at Trump International Golf Club, Nov. 20, 2016, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.
Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

From CNBC. Story by Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

“When you look at that (January report), you have to say something is going right,” said Johnson, a Democrat and founder and chairman of The RLJ Cos.

President Donald Trump has touted the black unemployment rate both on Twitter and his State of the Union address in January. Critics say Trump can’t take full credit because black unemployment had been on the decline before Trump took office.

Johnson has said he has known Trump for years. Johnson met with the then president-elect in 2016 and said he believes the president wants to work with African-Americans and all Americans to boost the economy.

Johnson also spoke again about a job offer he received from Trump. He said he didn’t take the unspecified position because he didn’t want a government job and not because of the president’s policies.

Read more at CNBC.