News Column

Hispanic Unemployment Rate Improved in March

April 4, 2014

Broos Campbell -- HispanicBusiness.com

job interview
Job interview (file photo)

While the U.S. unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent in March, the rate for Hispanics dropped to 7.9 percent from 8.1 percent in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The rate is statistically unchanged, according to the BLS, but it's a significant improvement over the rate of 9.2 percent a year ago.

Also encouraging is that, despite the lack of movement in the unemployment rate, the civilian labor force and total employment both increased in March.

Hispanic unemployment by sex and age

Rates for Hispanic men were 6.9 percent compared to 7.3 percent in February, while the rate for Hispanic women was 8.4 percent in March compared to 8.8 percent in the month prior.

The numbers for Hispanic youth were especially encouraging, improving to 21.3 percent in March compared to 27.3 percent in February and 28.1 percent in March 2013.

Those numbers aren't seasonally adjusted.

Unemployment by major worker groups

Among major groups of U.S. workers, the unemployment rate for men and women was 6.2 percent -- an improvement for women but a mild setback for men.

The seasonally adjusted rates for whites (5.8 percent), blacks (12.4 percent) and youth (20.9 percent) showed little or no change.

The rate for Asians dipped to 5.4 percent from 6 percent in February, not seasonally adjusted.

Where the jobs are

Employment grew in professional and business services, health care, and mining and logging, according to the BLS.

In an important indicator for Hispanics, construction employment is still trending upward, adding 19,000 jobs in March and 151,000 jobs over the past year.

Employment changed little in the manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, information and government sectors. However, a drop of 9,000 jobs in the federal government was partially offset by a rise of 8,000 jobs in local government, not counting jobs in the education sector.

Average hourly earnings ticked down by 1 cent to $24.30 in March, but are up by 49 cents, or 2.1 percent, over the 12-month period.


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