Andrea Lehman | HispanicBusiness.com
The unemployment rate for Hispanics dropped slightly to 6.0 percent in December from 6.1 in November, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor. The overall U.S. unemployment rate also dropped by 0.1 percentage point, falling to 4.9 percent in December from 5.0 percent in November.
The Hispanic population that affects the labor market (those over age 16 that are non-institutionalized civilians) increased by 93,000 in December bringing 78,000 new entrants to the labor force. The vast majority (75,000) found jobs with the remaining 3,000 being unemployed, but still searching. Such a high job finding rate accounts for the decrease in the unemployment rate.
The remaining population increase of 15,000 did not join the labor market, though it is not possible to determine whether that was by choice (due to age, health, or lifestyle) or a belief that they would be unable to find work and so terminated their job search.
On an annual basis, employment of Hispanics has increased by 847,000 jobs, bringing the Hispanic unemployment rate down from 6.5 percent in December 2004 to the current 6.0 percent. Hispanic employment represented one third of the total 2.6 millions jobs created in 2005.
Looking at seasonally unadjusted data, the unemployment rate for Hispanic men (20 years and over) increased to 5.1 percent in December from 4.8 percent in November. This was caused by a loss of 1,000 jobs, along with an increase in the labor force of 38,000 Hispanic men. Together this increased the rolls of the unemployed by 39,000. For the year, Hispanic men gained 530,000 jobs, decreasing the unemployment rate from 5.7 percent in December 2004 to the current 5.1 percent.
At 6.0 percent, the unemployment rate in December for Hispanic women 20 years and over decreased from 6.4 percent in November. Hispanic women gained 39,000 jobs with higher holiday labor demand. This decreased the number of unemployed by 34,000, as well as absorbing 5,000 new entrants to the labor force. In 2005, Hispanic women added 308,000 jobs to the U.S. economy, decreasing their unemployment rate from 6.6 percent a year ago to the current 6.0 percent.
The unemployment rate for Hispanic youths (age 16 to 19) increased in December to 17.3 percent from 16.9 percent in November. This resulted from a loss of 5,000 jobs, increasing the number of unemployed Hispanic teenagers by 4,000 with the rest leaving the labor force at least temporarily perhaps for school or family reasons.
Hispanic youths gained 10,000 jobs since December 2004. However, with the rate of population growth among young Hispanics, this gain was not enough to keep pace with the supply of workers and their unemployment rate has risen from 15.6 percent a year ago to the current 17.3 percent.
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