The unemployment rate for Hispanics in the United States fell by 3.1 percentage points to 14.5 percent in June, compared to 11.1 percent for the general population, according to data released Thursday by the government showing that Hispanics remain one of the groups hardest hit by the pandemic.
According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), last month there were 24.7 million Latinos in employment, and 4.19 million unemployed. The unemployment rate for Latino men was 12.8 percent and for women 15.3 percent
“Since pandemic-related closures began in March, Latinos have had higher unemployment rates than any other ethnic or racial group in the United States,” Agatha So, a U.S. economist, told Efe. “This continued in June as Latinos continued to suffer job and wage losses as a result of business closures and quarantines.
This is due in large part to the fact that “Latinos are disproportionately represented in industries that have been most affected by COVID-19 and in part because they are the racial or ethnic group least likely to access telework.
President Donald Trump appeared in the White House press room shortly after the BLS data was released, emphasizing details that show employment growth for women, African Americans, Latinos, and workers with lower levels of educational attainment.
“Eighty percent of businesses are now open,” Trump said. “Applications for new businesses have doubled since March.
The data brought good news for Trump, who is running for re-election in November despite the economic debacle caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought the unemployment rate to 14.7 percent in April, the highest since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
With the reopening of the economy, many companies and businesses began to hire workers from mid-May and June but there are still more than 10 million people who lost their jobs during the crisis and have not been rehired.
“Surveys show that in June, 62 percent of Latinos lived in households where at least one person has lost employment or income due to the coronavirus,” So said. “Latino workers have experienced reductions in work hours or job losses, as opposed to total job losses, at higher rates than other workers.
The number of workers who have permanently lost their jobs rose by 588,000 in June to a total of 2.8 million. The number of those who have been unemployed for at least 15 weeks increased by 825,000, and those who have been unemployed for at least 27 weeks increased by 227,000.
Although employment numbers have continued to rise, economists are concerned about the increase in COVID-19 cases in several southern and central states, especially in states that have adopted the least restrictive containment measures, and have rushed the resumption of activities.
In the week ending May 27, the government received 1.42 million claims for unemployment benefits, compared with 1.48 million the previous week.
For 15 consecutive weeks the number of requests for this benefit exceeded 1 million, compared with an average of 200,000 requests in the months prior to March.
According to the BLS data, in June the private sector added 4.74 million jobs after an increase of 3.09 million in the previous month.
Just as infection and death rates from VOC-19 are higher for African Americans, Latinos, and the lower-income population, the June employment report shows that these groups continue to be hardest hit by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
The proportion of adults with less than a high school education who are employed was 35.7 percent in June compared to 45.1 percent in February when the effect of the pandemic was beginning to be felt in the labor market.
Only 48.6 % of adults with a high school diploma were employed in June, compared to 56.2 % before the quarantine, while adults with a higher degree or education had an employment rate of 67.7 % in June compared to 71.7 % in February.
The leisure and hospitality sector, with an increase of 2.1 million jobs, accounted for almost 40% of the additional jobs in June, while bars and restaurants increased their payroll by 1.5 million employees. The manufacturing sector, which had added 225,000 jobs in May, added another 356,000 jobs in June.
The government administration, which had lost 585,000 jobs in May, added 33,000 in June.
The average number of applications for unemployment benefits in four weeks, an index that compensates for the volatility of the weekly data, was 1.5 million up to June 28, compared to 1.62 million on average in the previous week.