News Column

Hispanic Unemployment Rate Unchanged in August

Sept. 2, 2011


Graphic of dominoes falling on fleeing worker

Hispanic unemployment in August remained unchanged at 11.3 percent, as did the overall unemployment rate at 9.1 percent. For the year, the monthly Hispanic unemployment rate has averaged 11.6 percent, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the nationwide unemployment rate averaged 9.0 percent per month.

On the employment front, the BLS reported that the nation had zero net job growth for August. The private sector added 17,000 jobs, but that was offset by a loss of 17,000 jobs in government. Private service-providing industries added 20,000 jobs, but goods-producing industries shed 3,000.

In six sectors important for Hispanic employment -- construction, health care, government, leisure/hospitality, manufacturing, and transportation/warehousing -- a total of 10,100 jobs were gained in August. Leading the way was the health-care sector with 35,500 jobs added. For the year, the health-care sector has added a total of 225,600 jobs. In August, the only other key sector to add jobs was leisure/hospitality, with 2,000 more. Construction lost 5,000 jobs, government 17,000, manufacturing 3,000 and transportation/warehousing 2,400.

The BLS revised its employment figures downward for June and July. June's employment picture fell from 46,000 jobs gained to 20,000. The figures for July went from 117,000 gained down to 85,000 gained. Year-to-date, an average of 109,000 jobs per month have been added to the workforce, well below the number experts say is need to recover from the Great Recession that economists say ended in June 2009.

In addition, the BLS reported that the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged downward by 0.1 percent to 34.2 hours. The BLS also reported that the average hourly earnings for those employees decreased by 3 cents, 0.1 percent, to $23.09.

Source: (c) 2011. All rights reserved.

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