Unemployment Climbs to 9.4% Among Hispanics; Double What It Was 7 Yrs Ago

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 2, 2013 | 9:10am EDT

President Barack Obama (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(CNSNews.com) - Unemployment among American Hispanics climbed to 9.4 percent in July, up from 9.1 percent in May and June, and 9.0 percent in April, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

During President Obama's time in office, the number of American Hispanics who are unemployed has increased 161,000--rising from 2,205,000 in January 2009 to 2,366,000 in July 2013.

BLS defines a person as unemployed if they are 16 years or older and do not have a job, but have actively sought one in the last four weeks.

The Hispanic community has been hit harder by unemployment in recent years than Americans generally, as the Hispanic unemployment rate has never dropped below 9.0 percent during President Barack Obama’s time in office, according to BLS.

At 9.4 percent in July, Hispanic unemployment was 2 points (or 27 percent) higher than the overall national rate of 7.4 percent.

In the forty years that BLS has been recording the unemployment rate among Hispanics, the optimal period for Hispanic employment was 2006. During two months of that year, Hispanic unemployment dropped below 5 percent—hitting 4.9 percent in May 2006 and 4.7 percent in October 2006.

At that time, the difference between Hispanic unemployment and overall unemployment was not as great as it is today. In October 2006, for example, when Hispanic unemployment was 4.7 percent, overall unemployment was 4.4 percent—a difference of only 0.3 points (or 6.8 percent).

In the twelve years (1997 through 2008) before Obama took office in January 2009, there was only one month when unemployment among Hispanics climbed over 9.0 percent. That was December 2008, when it hit 9.3 percent.

The 9.4 percent unemployment rate among Hispanics in July 2013 was twice the 4.7 percent unemployment rate among Hispanics in October 2006.

Also back in October 2006, according to BLS, there was a higher percentage of Hispanics—68.5 percent--participating in the labor force. This July, 66.7 percent of Hispanics participated in the labor force. A person is deemed by BLS to be participating in the labor force if they are 16 years or older and either have a job or have actively sought a job in the last four weeks.

In June, according to BLS, 2,267,000 Hispanics were unemployed. In July, the number of Hispanics who were unemployed climbed by 99,000 to 2,366,000.

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