by: John Rodriguez
In a monthly report released by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics it showed that while unemployment among Latinos did not rise in June, but dropped more than half a point, the nationwide average of Latinos unemployed rose on tenth of a point. That is considered the good news, but with the good there is always a bad. The bad news is that in the country there are more unemployed Latinos within the whole American population, the report shows that Latinos still has one of the largest unemployment rates amongst all demographic groups.
Even though the Latino unemployment rate dropped from 11% to 10%, in-between June and July, the entire Latino population in the states remains two points higher than the general public. The report listed around 12.3 Latinos being out of work which is an estimated 600,000. According to the U.S Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the statistics show that Latinos have a lower rate of self-employment that non-Hispanic whites and the report supports this statement by stating, “The low self-employment among Latinos is partly attributed to lower educational attainment and to less access to financial wealth.”
Prior to the recession, the report acknowledges that if Latinos do open businesses at the same rate, or even at a higher rate, than non-Hispanic whites they are predicted to fail faster. According to the Census Bureau this is due to a main problem that Latinos “tend to have lower success business rates with their new businesses and exit self-employment at higher rates than Whites,” leading to increase of unemployment amongst the group. The recession doubled the unemployment of Latinos between 2002 and 2007.
While there seems to be no good new in-regards to the unemployment of Latinos, the report also gave some hopeful insight about the group in the future. According to the Department of Labor’s report there is a “Latino Labor Force in Recover,” where there is nearly 23 million Latinos—which is an estimated 15% of the U.S. workforce—having had jobs last year. These numbers enable the prediction that by 2020, Latinos are expected to hold 19% of the U.S. Labor Force. What this percentage tells us is that 1 out of every 5 workers will be Latino.
In the report released last Friday, there were several factors that claim to be a keen impact on the unemployment within the Latino community. One of the factors stated that a major factor of unemployment amongst Latinos is due to a lack of education. The report stated that 1 in 6 Latinos, aged 25 and over, have a bachelor’s degree but things may change since the gap has risen from 18% to 20% of Latinos obtaining a degree.
Education aside the report listed an interesting factor that is a significant reason behind Latino unemployment. According to the report, Latinos earn less than other non-Hispanics. Latinos who worked full-time in 2001 earned at least $549 per week which is only 71% of the median weekly income earned by non-Hispanics. Also, while Latinos were reported to earn less it was also reported that 4 out or 5 Latinos worked in the private sector than in non-government jobs which may be a reason as to why they earned less than other demographic groups in the U.S.
The listed factors show the reasons as to why Latinos are unemployed and why those who are employed faced a difference in wages, and that is due to Latinos having fewer opportunities to obtain an education and those Latinos who are new to the country being unable to learn English and gain immigration status due to a lack of resources. The report shows how, while possibly ignored, the Latino community is striving to better itself. And maybe in the years to come there will be more attention given towards the growing community in order to better their lives in this growing country.