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US Latino Unemployment Rate Slips, But 13 Million Not in Labor Force

First Posted: Nov 06, 2015 01:13 PM EST
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The U.S. Latino unemployment rate dropped based on October's jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

On Friday morning, the BLS announced the Latino unemployment rate stood at 6.3 percent, a minor decline from September's 6.4 percent. In comparison to October 2014, the Latino unemployment rate was 6.8 percent.

From the BLS data, 24.5 million Latinos were employed in October, which is an increase from the 24.4 million in the previous month. Meanwhile, 1.66 million Latinos were unemployed, which relates to people who are available to work, who have made an effort to find employment or who expect to be called back from a layoff but are not working.

An important figure to acknowledge is the number of Latinos not in the labor force. Latinos "not in the labor force" are those who are neither employed or unemployed and not seeking a job. With October's jobs report, 13.7 million Latinos are not active in the labor force, which is an increase of at least 700,000 from October 2014.

Among Latino males over 20 years old, the employment rate is 5.1 percent, significantly lower than the Latina rate of 6.4 percent. For Latino males, their unemployment rate declined from September's 5.5 percent to 5.1 percent. Latinas, however, saw their unemployment rate tick up from 6.3 percent to 6.4 percent during the same period.

Overall, taking into account all ethnicities, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 5.1 percent to 5 percent due to job gains in construction, professional and business services, health care, retail trade, food services and drinking places. In nonfarm payroll employment, October saw 271,000 overall jobs gained with an average work week of 34.5 hours.

"The nation continues to bounce back from our worst economic crisis in generations," said U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, later adding, "Private employers have now added 13.5 million jobs over 68 straight months of growth, the longest such streak on record. The unemployment rate inched downward to 5.0 percent and has not been lower since February of 2008. Wages are up, as average hourly earnings rose by 9 cents in October and have enjoyed their largest over-the-year increase (2.5 percent) in more than six years."

According to Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, the Obama administration has stressed the monthly employment and unemployment figures "can be volatile," and payroll employment estimates could be subjected to "substantial" revision.

"Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data as they become available," Furman said.

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For the latest updates, follow Latin Post's Politics Editor Michael Oleaga on Twitter: @EditorMikeO or contact via email: m.oleaga@latinpost.com.

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