Report: Unemployment Rate for Hispanics Significantly Higher than for Whites

Issue is of concern in NM because Hispanics make up large share of population

PRESS RELEASE
May 9, 2011
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—The unemployment rate for Hispanics is significantly higher than it is for non-Hispanic whites, according to a new issue brief from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The report, Distressed New Mexico: An ongoing and uneven employment crisis by Douglas Hall and Algernon Austin, finds that in 2010, the Hispanic unemployment rate was 12.5 percent, while non-Hispanic white unemployment rate was 8 percent.

Here in New Mexico, the disparity is slightly smaller—with 9 percent of Hispanics unemployed versus just under 7 percent of non-Hispanic whites, but labor experts say there is still cause for concern.

“Despite the slightly better rate in New Mexico, the disparity is magnified here because Hispanics make up a larger share of the population than elsewhere in the nation,” said Gerry Bradley, Research Director for New Mexico Voices for Children, which co-released the report.

The report notes that New Mexico is the only state in which Hispanics outnumber whites as a share of the population. Still, Hispanics are underrepresented in higher-wage job sectors.

“Jobs that require more education and pay higher wages generally have lower levels of unemployment than jobs that pay lower wages,” Bradley said. “That trend was exacerbated in this recession because of the housing bubble—when it burst the construction industry was hammered. There is a high concentration of Hispanic workers in construction,” Bradley added.

The report is attached separately as a pdf and is available online at http://epi.3cdn.net/bd2a61bb3393ab4844_vym6b5slg.pdf

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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.
2340 Alamo SE, Suite 120, Albuquerque, NM 87106-3523; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org