News Column

U.S. Hispanic Unemployment Improved in August

September 6, 2013

Staff Reports -- HispanicBusiness.com

hb woman latina office worker
The jobs outlook improved a bit for Hispanics in August, the Labor Department said.

Unemployment numbers for U.S. Hispanics saw a year-over-year improvement in August and held steady month to month, according to figures released Friday by the Labor Department.

The number of unemployed Americans was little changed at 11.3 million in August, for an overall rate of 7.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. The seasonally adjusted rate for U.S. Hispanics was 9.3 percent in August, down slightly from 9.4 percent in July.

"This morning's report tells a story of an economy slowly and steadily continuing to heal, with 169,000 new jobs added in August," Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez said. "We have now had 42 straight months of private-sector job growth, with nearly 7.5 million private-sector jobs created over that time."

The unemployment rate has been under 8 percent for 12 months in a row, Mr. Perez added.

The number of Hispanics holding at least one job was 37.6 million in August compared to 36.8 million a year ago, with an unemployment rate of 7.9 percent for Hispanic men and 8.7 percent for Latinas, not seasonally adjusted. The rates were 8.1 percent and 10.3 percent a year ago, respectively.

U.S. Hispanic youth unemployment was 28.4 percent in August, down from 30.9 percent in July and 29 percent in August 2012.

Broken out by worker groups, the national numbers were 7.1 percent for adult men, 6.3 percent for adult women, and 22.7 percent for teenagers in August, for little noticeable change for the month.

By race and ethnicity, the numbers were 6.4 percent for non-Hispanic whites, 14 percent for blacks and 5.1 percent for Asians, not seasonally adjusted.

'Dignity and resilience'

"During this week when we honored the dignity and resilience of American workers on Labor Day, let's all rededicate ourselves to building an economy worthy of their sacrifice," Mr. Perez said.

Primary job gains were made in retail trade and health care, while employment declined in the information sector, including a loss of 22,000 jobs in motion picture and sound recording.

Although retail added 44,000 jobs in August and 393,000 jobs during the past 12 months, those tend to be low-paying jobs with few if any benefits. Professional and business services added 23,000 jobs for the month, and 614,000 over the past year.

Other major sectors showed little change for the month.

However, average hourly earnings for private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $24.05 an hour. Production and nonsupervisory employees saw a raise of 4 cents an hour to $20.20.

"What keeps me up at night is the reality that too many people are finding the rungs on the ladder of opportunity further and further apart," Mr. Perez said. "We don't have a spare American."

The BLS table on Hispanic employment status is available here. The U.S. Employment Situation Summary for August 2013 is available here.

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Find out how U.S. Hispanic-owned export companies are doing in the Export Enterprises: Expanding the Marketplace overview.


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