While the jobless rate for December remained unchanged, economists hold on to the good news that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell below 10% for fourth straight month in a row. Within this positive trend is more good news for Latinos. The jobless rate for Hispanics has dropped to a four-year low. With that said, the number of Latinos looking for work is still higher than the national average.
Latino jobless rate
The Bureau for Labor Statistics showed 155,000 jobs added in the month of December, with the strongest employment sectors being health care, food services, construction, and manufacturing. Of these, the construction sector offered the healthiest increase with 30,000 jobs added.
"The economic recovery for Latinos has been a roller coaster ride. The rate rose from 9.3 percent in December 2008 to 10 percent the following month, reaching a peak of 13 percent in August 2009." – Fox News Latino
The current Latino jobless rate is 9.6%. That's still high but is gradually headed in the right direction. Hispanics were hit hard by the recession, and unemployment for Latinos quickly climbed above 10% by January 2009. By August of that year it reached a peak of 13%. While December's rate of 9.6% is high, when you look at the big picture there is room for optimism with the lowest Latino jobless rate in four years.
On the other side of the issue, while the numbers show a positive trend, the fact remains that Hispanic unemployment is running about 2 percentage points higher than the national average.
"The Hispanic unemployment rate remains higher than the national average at 9.6 percent, down slightly from the Hispanic unemployment rate of 10 percent in November." – ABC News
Some media outlets report the December unemployment rate has remained the same as November, and others outlets say it has gone up. In this case both reports are right, and depend on how they interpret the numbers. Before the election, unemployment fell from 7.9% to 7.7%, but that 7.7% number has been revised and adjusted upward to 7.8%. Those who use the unadjusted number will say the December rate has gone up, while those who use the adjusted figures will report it is the same. Either way, the labor participation rate remained the same for December.