Tags: Immigration | Labor Department | jobs report | Hispanics | unemployment

Labor Dept Report: Hispanics' Job Gains Top All Ethnic Groups

By    |   Monday, 09 March 2015 12:13 PM

Over the last year, the employment rate among Hispanics has increased 5 percent, which far outpaces any other ethnic group, according to the latest jobs report released by the Labor Department.

During the same period, the employment rate for blacks rose by 3.8 percent, while whites experienced a 1.4 percent increase in employment.

While Hispanics have made the largest 12-month gains, the 6.6 unemployment rate reported in February was only 0.1 percent lower than January's 6.7 unemployment rate.

The highest unemployment rate in February was among teenagers, who saw their job growth rate decrease by 1.7 percentage points to 17.1 percent.

The jobless rates for adult men (5.2 percent), adult women (4.9 percent), whites (4.7 percent), blacks (10.4 percent), and Asians (4.0 percent) also showed little or no change, according to Labor Department figures.

In addition, the job gains did not result in higher wages, as the average hourly wage only rose by 3 cents in February to $24.78 an hour, according to Fox News Latino.

The weakness of the February report, however, cannot discount the notable gains made by Hispanics, who were among the hardest hit by the recession.

According to Forbes, Hispanic households suffered a 44 percent drop in household wealth from 2007 to 2010, compared to a 31 percent decline for African-Americans and 11 percent for whites.

But a recent Economic Report of the President found that Latinos were the only major racial and ethnic group to have returned to their pre-recession unemployment levels.

The turnaround is largely a consequence of gains made in the construction industry, which had employed approximately 14 percent of all Hispanics before the recession, reports The New York Times.

The economic slowdown, which resulted in a loss of about 700,000 jobs, began to rebound in 2014 when Hispanics took 315,000 of the more than a half a million jobs filled in construction.

And a majority of those jobs have gone to U.S.-born workers, rather than to illegal immigrants, according to a June 2014 Pew Research Center report.

Pew found that immigrants comprised 56.1 percent of all Hispanics in the workforce in 2007, but that percentage dropped to 49.7 percent in 2013.

"Since the recession started in December 2007, the growth in the Latino immigrant workforce (people ages 16 and older) has slowed dramatically even as the Latino U.S.-born workforce continues to expand at a rapid pace," reports Pew.

One of the reasons economists believe that fewer illegal immigrants were being hired was a result of tougher enforcement of immigration laws, particularly through the use of E-Verify, an Internet-based government service that allows hiring managers to determine the eligibility of an applicant.

"When a company makes it clear they're using E-Verify, the whole workforce knows. That news spreads like you would not believe," Pia Orrenius, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, told The Times.

The growth in Hispanic employment is likely to continue, according to a new study released in February by IHS Inc., which describes itself as a leading global source of information and insight.

The report, Hispanic Immigration and U.S. Economic Growth, estimates that Hispanics will account for more than 40 percent of the growth in jobs over the next five years and would rise to 75 percent between 2020 and 2034.

As a result, the Hispanic share of total U.S. employment will rise from 16 percent in 2014 to 23 percent in 2034, which would be the equivalent of an increase of 11 million jobs, according to IHS.

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Over the last year, the employment rate among Hispanics has increased 5 percent, which far outpaces any other ethnic group, according to the latest jobs report released by the Labor Department.
Labor Department, jobs report, Hispanics, unemployment
Monday, 09 March 2015 12:13 PM
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