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Blacks, Latinos suffer greater unemployment during recession

Posted by Elena del Valle on February 18, 2009

U.S. Unemployment 2007-2008

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Although the economic recession is impacting everyone, it seems Latino immigrants, blacks and native-born Hispanics have been more severely affected than the rest of the population. While blacks are the only group with an unemployment rate in the double digits, 11.5 percent; in the fourth quarter of 2008, 9.5 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics were unemployed.

From the last quarter of 2007 to the last quarter of 2008, unemployment in general market increased 2 percentage points, from 4.6 percent to 6.6 percent. The unemployment rate for foreign born Latinos rose by 2.9 percentage points (from 5.1 percent to 8 percent) for the same period.

At the same time, the number of employed immigrant Latinos of working age dropped 2.8 percentage points from the last quarter of 2007 to the last quarter of 2008 (from 67.5 percent to 64.7 percent); compared to a 1.6 percentage point drop in the employment rate among the general working age population (from 63.2 percent to 61.6 percent).

These are the conclusions of Rakesh Kochhar, associate director for Research, Pew Hispanic Center in an article published last week, Unemployment Rises Sharply Among Latino Immigrants in 2008. He relied on  data from the Current Population Survey, a monthly survey of 55,000 households conducted jointly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau.

The Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research organization, is dedicated to improving public understanding of the Hispanic population in the United States and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the nation. It does not take positions on policy issues.

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