News Column

Hispanic Youth Struggle to Turn Experience Into Jobs

July 9, 2014

Staff Reports --

Waiting for a job call-back (file image)
Waiting for a job call-back (file image)

Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. labor force, yet young Hispanic males are having a hard time turning prior work experience into full-time jobs, a new report indicates.

The unemployment rate among Hispanics increased to 7.8 percent in June, up from 7.2 percent in the month prior.

The rate for youth ages 16-20 jumped to 28.3 percent from 18.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in the same time period, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The rate had been 29.6 percent a year ago, when 383,000 U.S. Hispanic youth were unemployed.

The number of unemployed Hispanic young people rocketed to 355,000 in June from 191,000 in the month prior.

More experience, fewer jobs

The report, "Giving Them an Edge? The Effects of Work Experience on the Employment Prospects of Latino Young Men" from the National Council on La Raza, looks at how Hispanic male millennials ages 16-30 face a particularly difficult job market.

Although Hispanic millennials overall have more work experience than their peers, that seems to have no affect on the likelihood that Hispanic men in their late 20s have a full-time job, according to the report.

Underemployment stands at 41.9 percent for Hispanic millennials who lack a college degree.

Factors in play include the concentration of Hispanics in low-wage economic sectors and the limited job prospects available through their friends and family.

The report also cites immigration status and implicit bias in hiring practices as putting downward pressure on employment among young Hispanics.

"In order to ensure that the U.S. economy continues to grow, this country has to do a better job of utilizing the wealth of talent that Latino millennials bring to American businesses," said Catherine Singley Harvey, manager of the Economic Policy Project at NCLR and author of the report.

Solving the problem will "require a combined effort from both lawmakers and business leaders," she added.

The report recommends job creation policies and placement programs. It also encourages businesses to re-evaluate how they factor work experience into the hiring process.


NCLR contributed.

Source: (c) 2014. All rights reserved.

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