The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics dropped slightly in February to 9.6 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The Hispanic unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in January, which in turn was up just slightly from 9.6 percent in December. The rate for Hispanics in February 2012 was 11.4 percent.
Overall unemployment for the country dipped to 7.7 percent.
There are 2.3 million idled workers in the Hispanic civilian labor force, out of a total Hispanic civilian workforce of 24.6 million.
The unemployment rate for Hispanic males 20 years and older was 9.1 percent in February compared to 10.4 percent a year earlier, while the rate for females was 10 percent compared to 11 percent a year earlier. Those number weren't seasonally adjusted.
The employment participation rate for Hispanics overall was 66.1 percent, markedly higher among males at 80.8 percent. The rate for females was 59.5 percent. The participation rate for whites overall was lower than for Hispanics at 63.8 percent.
The seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate in February was 6.8 percent for whites, down from 7.4 percent in February 2012, and 13.8 percent for blacks, down from 14.1 percent. Seasonally adjusted rates for Asians weren't available.
When not seasonally adjusted, the numbers broke out as follows: 10.3 percent for Hispanics, 7.2 percent for whites, 13.8 percent for African-Americans, and 6.1 percent for Asians.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 236,000 in February, and the overall unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent. Employment increased in professional and business services, construction, and health care.
Some 8 million Americans were working part time in February because their hours had been cut or because they were unable to find full-time work, a number that was essentially unchanged from January. Some 2.6 million people were marginally attached to the workforce because they hadn't looked for work during the four weeks preceding the survey although they wanted work.
The number of discouraged workers -- defined as people who aren't looking for work because they believe they won't find any -- dropped slightly in February.
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