News Column

Hispanic Jobless Rate Up in May, Down Since 2012

June 7, 2013

Staff Reports --

Latina office worker

As with the population at large, the unemployment rate for Hispanics continues to drop as the U.S. economy keeps trudging its way out of the gloom of the Great Recession, despite a slight uptick in May.

"This morning's report offers more encouraging evidence that the U.S. economy continues to rebound at a steady, moderate rate -- a total of 178,000 new private sector jobs in May," Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris said in a statement.

During the past 39 months, he added, "the economy has now generated just shy of 7 million jobs."

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics was 9.1 percent in May, down from 11 percent a year ago, according to figures released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, unemployment among Hispanics was up slightly from April, when it stood at 9 percent.

The unemployment rate for the working population as a whole ticked up to 7.6 percent in May from 7.5 percent the month prior.


Related: U.S. Unemployment Up; 175,000 Jobs Added in May


The overall numbers when not seasonally adjusted were not as encouraging.

Broken out by race and ethnicity, they were: whites, 7.4 percent, up from 7.2 percent a year ago; Hispanics, 11 percent, up from 10.4 percent; blacks, 13.6 percent, up from 13.3 percent; and Asians, 4.3 percent, down from to 5.2 percent.

The rate for Hispanic men was 8.6 percent in May, not seasonally adjusted, compared to 8.4 percent in April and 10.4 percent a year ago. The rates for Latinas were 7.2 percent in May, 7.6 percent in April and 9.6 percent in May 2012.

"The economy is clearly recovering, but not as rapidly or robustly as it can and must," Harris said. "There are still too many hardworking men and women who can't find jobs, too many families struggling to secure their place in the middle class."

Extended unemployment benefits weren't available in any state during the week ending May 18, the BLS reported.

The country's highest insured unemployment rates for that week were in Alaska, at 4.9 percent; California, 3.2 percent; and New Mexico, 3.2 percent.

California had the largest increase in the number of initial jobless insurance claims, at 8,622, which it attributed primarily to layoffs in the service industry. Michigan had the largest decrease in claims, with a drop of 2,185.

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