The New York Times has a fascinating graph showing how the unemployment rate has grown for every measured demographic group during the recession (ht: Ray).
Nationwide, unemployment has averaged 8.6% over the past twelve months, but that average conceals enormous variation.
At one extreme, unemployment has averaged just 3.6% for white women age 25 to 44 who have a college degree.
At the other extreme, unemployment has averaged 48.5% for black men age 15 to 24 who don’t have a high school degree.
(The NYT uses a twelve-month average in order to smooth out statistical noise in the estimates of unemployment for narrower demographic groupings. By way of comparison, note that the national unemployment rate was 10.2% in October, much higher than the twelve-month average of 8.6%.)