DETROIT (AP) – Black unemployment is falling in metropolitan Detroit, even as it remains well above the rate for white workers, according to a new national report.

African-Americans in the Detroit area had an 18.1 percent jobless rate last year, down from 25.4 percent in 2010, the report from the Economic Policy Institute said.

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“This is a mix of good news and bad news,” Gilda Z. Jacobs, chief executive of the Michigan League for Human Services, said in a news release Monday. “The rescue of the auto industry has had a positive impact on Michigan’s economy, and we’re seeing the evidence in this report.”

But, she added, “we know that unemployment remains a problem for white, black and Hispanic workers, and those who have been out of work for many months are still struggling to find work.”

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Michigan’s joblessness has been closing in on the national rate but still remained above it at 8.5 percent in May, when the U.S. rate was 8.2 percent.

The Detroit area had the highest black unemployment rate among 19 metropolitan areas in 2010. It fell to No. 4 in 2011, trailing Las Vegas’ 22.6 percent black jobless rate, Los Angeles’ 21.1 percent and Chicago’s 19.1 percent.

The report also said the gap between white and black unemployment was smaller in Detroit than in the nation as a whole. It said African-Americans living in metropolitan Detroit were 1.8 times more likely than their white counterparts to be unemployed. Nationwide, blacks were 2.2 times more likely to be unemployed.

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