News Column

Hispanic Unemployment Rate Rose in July

August 2, 2013

Staff Reports -- HispanicBusiness.com

hispanics waiting for interview
The unemployment rate for Hispanics rose slightly in July.

The unemployment rate for U.S. Hispanics bobbed up in July over the previous month, but still showed improvement over the past year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The seasonally adjusted Hispanic unemployment rate rose in July to 9.4 percent, up from 9.1 percent in June. The rate was down markedly from 10.3 percent in July 2012.

The rate among Hispanic males, at 7.7 percent, not seasonally adjusted, compared favorably to the overall unemployment rate of 7.4 percent. That was up a tick from June's rate of 7.5 percent, and down from the year-ago rate of 8.2 percent. However, the rate for Latinas rose to 9 percent over 8.6 percent in June -- though that, too, was an improvement over the year-ago rate of 10.5 percent.

"Today's report shows that our economy continues to improve, modestly but steadily," Secretary of Labor Tom Perez said in a statement. He pointed out that July marks the 11th month in a row of overall unemployment of less than 8 percent, the lowest level since December 2008.

Related: U.S. Unemployment Rate Down to 7.4 Percent

Employment among people of color continues to lag behind the rate for non-Hispanic whites, however. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for whites was 6.6 percent in July, unchanged from June, and improved from 7.4 percent in July 2012. The rate for blacks was 12.6 percent in July -- though that was a large improvement over June's rate of 13.7 percent and July 2012's rate of 14.1 percent.

Asians saw an unusual rise in July, to 5.7 percent over June's 5 percent. Rates for Asians are not seasonally adjusted.

Mr. Perez expressed encouragement at the report's numbers.

"This report is good news, and the economic turnaround over the past four years has been unmistakable," he said. "More Americans are finding work, but we can and must do more to pick up the pace of this recovery."

Summarizing the situation

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 jobs in July, according to the report. The rise was primarily in retail trade, food services and drinking places, financial activities, and wholesale trade.

Nonfarm employment grew by 189,000 a month on average over the past 12 months.

Major worker groups showing improvement in July were adult women (6.5 percent) and blacks (12.6 percent). Other major groups showed little change, statistically speaking.

The number of long-term unemployed in July didn't change much either, at 4.2 million, accounting for 37 percent of unemployed workers. Involuntary part-time workers (those who want full-time jobs but can't find one) remained essentially unchanged at 8.2 million.

Manufacturing and health-care employment were little changed in July, and didn't move the needle much over the past year, either. The same was true for construction, transportation, warehousing, and other sectors heavily represented by Hispanic workers.

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Find out which U.S. Hispanic-owned companies are up and which are down on the 2013 HispanicBusiness Fastest-Growing 100 overview.


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