Racial Equity
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity


Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2018-22

What does this measure?

The unemployment rate for racial and ethnic groups in a geographic area. Unemployed individuals are those without jobs who are able, available and seeking work; the rate presents them as a share of the total labor force.

Why is this important?

Unemployment rates are a relatively timely indicator of current local economic conditions, particularly recent changes in the employment landscape that reflect the overall health of the economy.

How does our county compare?

In 2018-22, 7.6% of African American and 6.8% of Hispanic residents of Lancaster County were unemployed, compared to 2.9% of white residents.* This is in line with disparities observed at the statewide and national levels, although Pennsylvania's unemployment rates for non-white workers are higher than those of the U.S., generally.

Unemployment rates for all groups except Asians were higher in the City of Lancaster, where 9.4% of African American and 9% of Hispanic residents were unemployed, compared to 4.9% of white residents.

Since 2000, the county's unemployment rate declined almost 11 percentage points among African American workers and more than six percentage points for Hispanic residents. The rate has declined about three points among white residents.

Why do these disparities exist?

While traditional explanations for employment rate disparities focus on education and training gaps, whites tend to be employed at higher rates than Blacks and other people of color at every education level (high school, some college, bachelor's degree, etc.). This has led many researchers to focus on labor market discrimination as a primary cause of higher unemployment among people of color. However, it is also true that education levels are generally lower for people of color, suggesting that the education system's failure to equitably serve people of color is also a contributing factor.

Notes about the data

The multi-year figures are from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. The bureau combined five years of responses to the survey to provide estimates for smaller geographic areas and increase the precision of its estimates. The survey provides data on characteristics of the population that used to be collected only during the decennial census.

Data on unemployment by race and ethnicity is only available from the American Community Survey, and it is somewhat different from the total population unemployment data produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics using responses to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. Two different survey methodologies are used (ACS responses are collected by mail, phone and in person; CPS uses phone and in-person interviews), CPS questions on employment are more detailed, and CPS requires that someone be "actively" searching for work (interviewing, calling contacts) in order to qualify as unemployed. In addition, the ACS estimates used here cover a 5-year period, compared to an annual average of monthly estimates presented in the general unemployment indicator. In 2009, the annual unemployment estimates for the nation from the two surveys varied, with ACS at 9.9% and CPS at 9.3%. Data for this indicator are expected to be released in the fourth quarter.

*The 2018-22 estimates for Black and Hispanic residents have a margin of error of between 20%-35% of the estimate. Even assuming the highest error rate, this still would make them higher than the unemployment rate for white residents.

Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity, 2018-22
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Lancaster County0.9%***7.6%*6.8%*2.9%
Lancaster City0.0%***9.3%**9.5%*4.6%*
Lancaster County School Districts
School District of Lancaster0.7%***9.1%**8.4%*4.1%*
Cocalico School District0.0%***6.4%***6.1%***2.5%*
Columbia Borough School DistrictN/A***0.0%***5.4%***4.4%**
Conestoga Valley School District6.9%***5.8%***7.0%***4.6%**
Donegal School District0.0%***2.2%***5.9%***2.6%**
Eastern Lancaster County School District4.3%***0.0%***0.4%***2.3%**
Elizabethtown Area School District0.0%***7.8%***0.7%***2.7%**
Ephrata Area School District0.0%***38.8%***13.1%***2.0%***
Hempfield School District0.0%***10.9%***7.0%***2.5%*
Lampeter-Strasburg School District0.0%***0.0%***2.3%***2.9%**
Manheim Central School District0.0%***47.6%***0.0%***3.1%**
Manheim Township School District0.0%***0.0%***4.8%***3.5%**
Penn Manor School District0.0%***5.5%***7.4%***2.6%**
Pequea Valley School DistrictN/A***0.0%***1.6%***1.1%***
Solanco School District0.0%***0.0%***1.3%***3.3%*
Warwick School District0.0%***0.0%***0.8%***2.6%***
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough0.0%***0.0%***7.0%***1.2%***
Akron borough0.0%***0.0%***15.8%***3.5%***
Christiana borough0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***2.0%***
Columbia boroughN/A***0.0%***5.4%***4.4%**
Denver township0.0%***0.0%***7.4%***4.9%***
East Petersburg boroughN/A***0.0%***0.0%***2.7%***
Elizabethtown borough0.0%***1.5%***1.8%***3.6%***
Ephrata borough0.0%***13.0%***7.0%***3.1%***
Lititz borough0.0%***0.0%***1.6%***2.6%***
Manheim boroughN/A***100.0%***0.0%***4.3%***
Marietta borough0.0%***10.9%***17.8%***5.0%***
Millersville borough0.0%***3.5%***27.2%***2.4%***
Mount Joy borough0.0%***0.0%***7.0%***2.2%***
Mountville boroughN/A***0.0%***0.0%***1.2%***
New Holland borough0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***3.4%***
Quarryville borough0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***3.8%***
Strasburg boroughN/A***0.0%***0.0%***4.1%***
Terre Hill boroughN/A***N/A***6.9%***2.7%***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart townshipN/A***N/A***0.0%***2.2%***
Brecknock township0.0%***N/A***0.0%***3.0%***
Caernarvon townshipN/A***N/A***N/A***3.4%***
Clay townshipN/A***N/A***0.0%***1.5%***
Colerain townshipN/A***0.0%***N/A***2.9%***
Conestoga township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***2.2%***
Conoy townshipN/A***100.0%***0.0%***1.5%***
Drumore townshipN/A***0.0%***15.8%***4.4%***
Earl township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***1.5%***
East Cocalico township0.0%***100.0%***7.0%***2.2%***
East Donegal townshipN/A***0.0%***0.0%***2.4%***
East Drumore township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***2.8%***
East Earl township29.1%***0.0%***0.0%***0.9%***
East Hempfield township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***3.0%**
East Lampeter township13.9%***3.0%***6.2%***4.3%***
Eden township0.0%***N/A***0.0%***2.3%***
Elizabeth township0.0%***N/A***N/A***0.3%***
Ephrata township0.0%***74.7%***32.4%***0.2%***
Fulton townshipN/A***0.0%***0.0%***6.0%***
Lancaster township1.9%***7.5%***4.4%***3.3%***
Leacock townshipN/A***0.0%***0.0%***0.4%***
Little Britain townshipN/A***N/A***0.0%***5.5%***
Manheim township0.0%***0.0%***4.8%***3.4%**
Manor township0.0%***11.6%***4.2%***3.6%***
Martic township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***1.5%***
Mount Joy township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***2.3%***
Paradise townshipN/A***0.0%***0.0%***2.6%***
Penn township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***1.3%***
Pequea township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***0.7%***
Providence townshipN/A***N/A***0.0%***1.6%***
Rapho township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***4.2%***
Sadsbury townshipN/A***0.0%***7.2%***0.3%***
Salisbury townshipN/A***0.0%***5.4%***0.8%***
Strasburg townshipN/A***N/A***N/A***3.5%***
Upper Leacock township0.0%***23.5%***16.3%***4.8%***
Warwick township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***3.1%***
West Cocalico townshipN/A***0.0%***0.0%***2.1%***
West Donegal townshipN/A***0.0%***0.0%***2.2%***
West Earl township0.0%***0.0%***0.0%***5.0%***
West Hempfield township0.0%***30.9%***16.0%***2.0%***
West Lampeter township0.0%***0.0%***2.4%***2.1%***
Berks County5.9%***11.1%*10.0%4.2%
Chester County2.7%*8.6%*5.1%**3.6%
Cumberland County2.9%***8.8%**6.0%**3.4%
Dauphin County2.1%***9.1%*4.3%**3.1%
Lebanon County3.3%***0.7%***10.2%*3.8%
York County5.9%***8.6%*9.9%*4.0%

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.

Number Unemployed by Race/Ethnicity, 2018-22
AsianBlack or African AmericanHispanicWhite
Lancaster County66***896*2,124*7,169
Lancaster City0***489**1,015*826*
Lancaster County School Districts
School District of Lancaster10***547**1,141*1,007*
Cocalico School District0***10***35***294*
Columbia Borough School District0***0***58***192**
Conestoga Valley School District40***58***165***670**
Donegal School District0***7***49***306**
Eastern Lancaster County School District16***0***2***361**
Elizabethtown Area School District0***25***5***427**
Ephrata Area School District0***80***163***336***
Hempfield School District0***99***173***584*
Lampeter-Strasburg School District0***0***12***307**
Manheim Central School District0***30***0***450**
Manheim Township School District0***0***135***639**
Penn Manor School District0***40***158***575**
Pequea Valley School District0***0***8***117***
Solanco School District0***0***6***480*
Warwick School District0***0***7***412***
Lancaster County Boroughs
Adamstown borough0***0***3***15***
Akron borough0***0***40***67***
Christiana borough0***0***0***8***
Columbia borough0***0***58***192**
Denver township0***0***16***89***
East Petersburg borough0***0***0***64***
Elizabethtown borough0***4***5***214***
Ephrata borough0***12***43***210***
Lititz borough0***0***7***119***
Manheim borough0***30***0***107***
Marietta borough0***7***13***65***
Millersville borough0***15***94***79***
Mount Joy borough0***0***36***91***
Mountville borough0***0***0***17***
New Holland borough0***0***0***75***
Quarryville borough0***0***0***47***
Strasburg borough0***0***0***64***
Terre Hill borough0***0***2***13***
Lancaster County Townships
Bart township0***0***0***30***
Brecknock township0***0***0***126***
Caernarvon township0***0***0***73***
Clay township0***0***0***47***
Colerain township0***0***0***51***
Conestoga township0***0***0***45***
Conoy township0***21***0***30***
Drumore township0***0***6***51***
Earl township0***0***0***44***
East Cocalico township0***10***16***118***
East Donegal township0***0***0***119***
East Drumore township0***0***0***45***
East Earl township16***0***0***30***
East Hempfield township0***0***0***353**
East Lampeter township40***26***112***303***
Eden township0***0***0***21***
Elizabeth township0***0***0***7***
Ephrata township0***68***80***12***
Fulton township0***0***0***75***
Lancaster township10***58***126***213***
Leacock township0***0***0***11***
Little Britain township0***0***0***109***
Manheim township0***0***135***639**
Manor township0***25***64***390***
Martic township0***0***0***39***
Mount Joy township0***0***0***132***
Paradise township0***0***0***62***
Penn township0***0***0***73***
Pequea township0***0***0***22***
Providence township0***0***0***51***
Rapho township0***0***0***270***
Sadsbury township0***0***7***4***
Salisbury township0***0***8***44***
Strasburg township0***0***0***69***
Upper Leacock township0***32***53***175***
Warwick township0***0***0***286***
West Cocalico township0***0***0***72***
West Donegal township0***0***0***82***
West Earl township0***0***0***192***
West Hempfield township0***99***173***150***
West Lampeter township0***0***12***142***
Berks County181***1,205*4,6097,231
Chester County513*1,375*1,073**8,698
Cumberland County220***440**354**4,015
Dauphin County172***2,311*606**3,268
Lebanon County45***11***961*2,298
York County229***1,181*1,756*8,319

Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Notes: Multiyear results are from rolling American Community Survey. * Margin of error between 20% & 35% of estimate; ** margin of error between 35% & 50%; *** margin of error greater than 50%. The Census Bureau asks people to identify their race (white, African-American, etc.) separate from their ethnicity (Hispanic or non-Hispanic). So the totals for these categories cannot be added together, as people show up in both a racial and ethnic group.

Prekindergarten Participation
Student Performance on Grade 3 English
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math
High School Cohort Graduation Rate
Per-Student Spending
Students Receiving Special Education Services
Rate of Foster Care Admissions
Disengaged Youth
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity
Plans of High School Graduates
Enrollment in Local Colleges
College Graduation Rates
Brain Drain/Gain
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity
Average Charitable Giving
Voter Registration Rate
Voter Participation Rate
Age of Housing Stock
Violent Crime Rate
Incarceration Rate
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Population Density
Air Quality
Water Use
Waterways Impaired by Pollution
Change in Population
Change in Population by Age and Gender
Population by Age
Population by Race/Ethnicity
People with Disabilities
Foreign-Born Population
Language Diversity
Change in Total Jobs
Change in Employment by Sector
Sector Share of Total Jobs
Workers by Occupation
Change in Labor Force
People Entering/Leaving County/Region for Work
Average Salary by Sector
Change in Average Salary Since 2000
Female to Male Earnings Ratio
Employer Size
Change in Number of Businesses by Sector
Change in Total Agricultural Sales
Spending for Local Government
Spending for School Districts
Children Living in Poverty
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Veterans Living in Poverty
Working Poor
Median Household Income by Household Type
Median Household Income
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity
Living Wage
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance
Students Eligible for Free/Reduced Price Lunch
Median Home Value
Occupied Housing Units
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity
Median Rent
Cost of Renting
Households Without Vehicles
Means of Transportation to Work, by Race/Ethnicity
People Without Health Insurance
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity
Health Status
Prevalence of Mental Illness
Adults Who are Overweight or Obese
Mortality Rates
Mortality Rate, by Race/Ethnicity
Fatal Drug Overdoses
Cancer Incidence
Households With Internet Access
High-Tech Jobs
STEM Graduates
Science and Engineering Research and Development
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity
Education Levels of Adults by Race/Ethnicity
Incarceration Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Population by Race/Ethnicity
Children in Poverty by Race/Ethnicity
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity
Households Receiving SNAP by Race/Ethnicity
Homeownership Rate, by Race/Ethnicity
Cost of Homeownership by Race/Ethnicity
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity