Report: Unemployment Rates for NM Hispanics Still Double That of Whites

PRESS RELEASE
May 16, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children
505-244-9505 ext. 110 (p), 505-401-8709 (c), 505-244-9509 (f), skayne@nmvoices.org

ALBUQUERQUE—While New Mexico’s Hispanics have a lower unemployment rate than Hispanics nationally, their rate is still more than double the unemployment rate for New Mexico’s non-Hispanic whites. This means that, well into a national recovery, nearly one in 12 Hispanic workers continues to be unemployed. Those are the findings of a report released today by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC.

“High unemployment rates for New Mexico’s Hispanics will have long-term consequences for the state’s children,” said Veronica C. García, Ed.D., Executive Director of New Mexico Voices for Children. “Almost half of all New Mexico children are Hispanic, and when their parents are struggling financially, the children suffer as well.”

Although the report, “Ongoing Joblessness in New Mexico,” notes that non-Hispanic whites have also been negatively impacted by the recession, the economic damage to the state’s Hispanics has been deeper and more prolonged. With New Mexico’s unemployment rate expected to rise by the end of this year, according to the report, the outlook is not good.

“This mirrors many of the conclusions in ‘The State of Working New Mexico 2013’ report that we just released,” said Gerry Bradley, Senior Researcher and Policy Analyst for NM Voices. “The wage gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanic whites in New Mexico was beginning to close prior to the start of the recession. Now, the median hourly wage for whites is above $18, but it’s below $14 for Hispanics—so even those who are working are earning quite a bit less than their non-Hispanic white counterparts,” he added.

“Children simply cannot perform well in school when they don’t have financial stability at home,” said Dr. García. “The state needs a more targeted economic development plan than its current scattershot approach of unproven tax cuts for corporations, and it needs to ensure that support systems for families—such as unemployment insurance benefits and child care assistance—are adequate and functioning as they should,” she added.

You can download the report here: http://www.epi.org/publication/ongoing-joblessness-mexico-unemployment/

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New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities. Our fiscal policy work is funded by grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the WK Kellogg Foundation, and the Working Poor Families Project. 625 Sliver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org