Latest Jobs Report Declares Sustained Progress for Some, But 15.1 Million Latinos Remain Out of Work
The U.S. Department of Labor released its latest jobs report, which said businesses hired 209,000 people in July, marking six months with job hirings over 200,000. A total of 9.9 million people have been hired since February 2010.
"The sustained progress and continued momentum make me optimistic. However many Americans, despite their best efforts are still struggling to climb out of the hole created by the Great Recession," said Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor. "As our economy continues its positive trajectory, we should use the momentum to enable more people to access ladders of opportunity."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the jobs were in professional and business services, manufacturing, retail trade and construction. Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs, and manufacturing 28,000 in motor vehicles and parts, and furniture and related products. Retail trade employed 27,000 people in the automobile business, food and beverages and general merchandise.
The unemployment rate rose, however, to 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent in June, with 9.7 million people unemployed. The unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for whites, (0.9 percentage points higher than at the start of the recession), 11.4 percent for African Americans (2.4 percentage points higher than at the start of recession), and 7.8 percent for Latinos (1.5 percentage points higher than at the start of recession). And the unemployment rate for teenagers is 20.2 percent.
"The recession drove many people out of the labor force, and lack of job opportunities in the ongoing jobs slump kept many potential jobseekers on the sidelines and not counted in the official unemployment rate," said Chad Stone, Chief Economist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "When jobs are hard to find, more people stop looking or stay home to care for young children, do home repairs, take courses at local community college, or the like until job prospects improve. These people are considered "out of the labor force" rather than unemployed."
The number of long-term unemployed, those without work for 27 weeks or more was unchanged at 3.2 million in July, and accounted for 32.9 percent of the unemployed. Civilian workforce participation rate is at 62.9 percent, with the part-time work force at 7.5 million. Stone said, "While the decline in the labor force participation appears to have bottomed out. It remains at levels last seen prior to 1978."
The National Council of La Raza conducted a national poll of 500 registered Latino voters in June and found three out of five thought they had not benefited personally from the recovery. The poll found younger Latinos were struggling in the job market, with 78 percent saying they are concerned about the lack of career advancement. Half the Latinos said they had trouble paying their bills last year, and 53 percent were worried that someone in the household may become unemployed.
Almost 70 percent are concerned that they are not earning enough to cover their basic expenses. Over half of those polled, including 60 percent of Latina women, said they would be more likely to vote for an elected official who supported increases in the minimum wage. And pollsters said they would like to see tax credits for homeowners, programs making mortgages easier to obtain, and 86 percent said they would like homeowners counseling and education.
NCLR also released its Monthly Latino Employment Report, which found that Latino families are experiencing slower economic recovery. The Latino unemployment rate remained at 7.8 percent. The total number of Latinos unemployed, those still claiming benefits and those no longer in the work force, was 15.1 million, and those employed was 23.3 million.
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