June 4th, 2012
Hispanic Unemployment Rate Climbs

By Griselda Neváres, Voxxi

The unemployment rate among Hispanics in May rose significantly to 11.0 percent, up from 10.3 percent in April.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that overall the economy added 69,000 jobs in May, bringing the national unemployment rate to 8.2 percent. That’s a 0.1 percent rise from last month, the first increase in 11 months.

Last year during this time, the unemployment rate among Hispanics reached 11.8 percent and the national rate was 9.0 percent.

Though more Hispanics are employed compared to last year, Latinos continue to suffer from a disproportionately high unemployment rate under the Obama administration, stated Jennifer Korn, executive director of the Hispanic Leadership Network, a right-leaning advocacy organization.

Korn said Obama has done little to help Latinos get back to work.

“Hispanics are still experiencing an all-time high unemployment rate at 11.0 percent. Mr. President, where are the jobs?” she stated.

In addition to Hispanics, blacks also saw a notable increase in their unemployment rate. It went from 13.0 percent in April to 13.6 in May. For Asians (5.2 percent) and whites (7.4 percent) the unemployment rate stayed the same.

The construction industry, which employs a large number of Hispanics, lost 28,000 jobs in May. Meanwhile, a rapid growth in jobs was seen in other industries: Health care added 33,000; transportation and warehousing added 36,000; wholesale trade added 16,000; and Manufacturing added 12,000.

Secretary of Labor Hilda Solís stated Friday that these numbers show the labor market continues to recover, but acknowledged that “more must be done to put Americans back to work.”

She said the Obama administration has introduced efforts that aim to support the unemployed and spur more economic growth. Some include rewarding companies that bring back jobs to the United States from overseas, investing in tax credits for small businesses and investing in clean energy manufacturing.

“These are bipartisan initiatives that will create jobs, help restore security for the middle class and further the progress of our economic recovery,” Solís said. “Every day Congress doesn’t act is another day our communities suffer, another day middle class families struggle and another day our children lose out on a better future.”

This article first apeared in Voxxi.

Griselda Nevárez is a reporter with Hispanic Link News Service in Washington D.C.

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