U.S. labor market powers ahead without Latinos

Hugo Balta

The U.S. economy continues to bounce back from last year’s COVID-19 shutdown.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, and more than 900,000 people joined the active workforce in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But despite the good news Hispanics-Latinos are lagging behind.

Hispanic_Latino unemployment dropped to 6.6%, reported CNBC. Still, the numbers are high compared with the jobless rate for whites at 4.8%.

The report also found that Hispanics-Latinos, who participate in the labor force at a higher rate than any other demographic group, earn 26% less than whites on a weekly basis at $779 compared with $1,012.

Some of the sectors which were damaged most by the pandemic like the leisure and hospitality sector have seen a healthy number of jobs recovered; 380,000 new jobs were filled. And still, Hispanic-Latino workers are disproportionately represented: 17% of the labor force but 24% in leisure and hospitality. 

New Hampshire ranks third in the nations for adjusted unemployment rates at 2.9%, and second for unadjusted at 3.1%.

The U.S. is millions of jobs from replacing the full workforce from before February 2020, and some economic experts believe a resurgence in COVID cases, driven by the Delta variant, could discourage people out of work from returning to the labor force.