US Latino Unemployment Rate: 13 Million Latinos 'Not in the Labor Force' But May 2015 Hispanic Unemployment Declines
The U.S. Latino unemployment declined by one percentage point in comparison to May 2014, and economists have remained optimistic about the latest jobs report.
Overall, the U.S. unemployment rate increased from 5.4 percent in April to 5.5 percent for May. According to The New York Times, the latest data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helped ease the debate about the first quarter's financial results. During May, 280,000 jobs were created, which was a stronger number than expected, and it may further the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates.
The Latino unemployment rate, however, declined from April's 6.9 percent to 6.7 percent in May. As the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) noted, Latino employment gains in leisure and hospitality likely attributed to the unemployment rate decline as 57,000 jobs were added in this sector. The leisure and hospitality employment gains come as the summer vacation season approaches.
Despite the employment gains, many within the Latino community are jobless. The BLS noted 1.8 million Latinos are unemployed, which NCLR defined as individuals "who are available to work make an effort to find a job or expect to be called back from a layoff but are not working." Millions more of Latinos, however, are not seeking employment. The BLS revealed 13.3 million Latinos are "not in the labor force," which is defined as "people over the age of 16 classified as neither employed nor unemployed."
On the positive side, more Latinos are employed as 24.4 million, over the age of 16, are employed based on May's figures.
More Latinas are unemployed than Latino males, with 6.5 percent and 6 percent, respectively. The Latino male unemployment rate was unchanged from April, but the rate for Latinas declined by 0.4-percentage points.
In comparison to other ethnicities, the unemployment rate with the white population is 4.7 percent, significantly lower compared to the 10.2 percent in the black community. The Asian unemployment rate is 4.1 percent.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said the May data is "the best jobs report of 2015," noting 12.6 million private-sector jobs were created during the last 63 months.
"[The] jobs report demonstrates the resilience of the American people," said Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. "The fewer political disruptions to the economy, the better the chances for continued recovery."
Becerra added, "But this is only half the battle for full prosperity. No American who puts in a hard day's work every day should face a life in poverty. Yet, too many hard-working families still feel that the next rung on the ladder of economic opportunity is out of their reach."
Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaker of the House of Representatives, said, "It's always good news that more Americans have found work, but with weak economic growth and too many still looking for steady jobs and better pay, we can do better."
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, said the Republican leadership in the Senate created "uncertainty" for the U.S. economy. He added, "In control for more than 100 days, Republicans have made no progress for the middle class and have instead passed legislation benefiting special interests, giving tax breaks to the wealthy and trying to take the health care of 16 million Americans away."
For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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