By CHRISTOPHER RUGABER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s hiring boom of the past year has narrowed racial disparities in unemployment. Yet the Federal Reserve’s ongoing interest rate hikes — shaping up to be the steepest in 15 years — threaten to reverse that progress. The Fed’s increases will mean higher borrowing rates that could hobble America’s job market and undercut a goal the Fed unveiled two years ago: Keep rates ultra-low for as long as possible, to benefit disadvantaged workers who often don’t see strong hiring gains until late in a recovery. Now, though, facing the worst inflation in four decades, the Fed is expected to raise its benchmark short-term rate multiple times this year and next, which could widen racial unemployment gaps.