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Disparities exist between unemployment rates of minorities

The situation of women, blacks and Hispanic workers who are employed, unemployed or looking for jobs in the U.S. merits a closer look. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report for June, released last Friday, shows that whites have an 8.1 percent unemployment rate, while that same rate reached 16.2 percent for blacks and 11.6 percent for Hispanics. #

According to the report, black men had a 17 percent unemployment rate and black women almost 14 precent. The same data shows that unemployment for Hispanic men stood at almost 10 percent and over 11 percent for Hispanic women. #

According to The Miami Herald, some economists say the real black unemployment rate is as high as 25 or 30 percent, because government figures don’t count “discouraged” workers who have stopped looking for jobs and dropped out of the labor force. #

The Herald adds that according to economists, in a handful of states joblessness among blacks rivals what it was during the Great Depression. Experts blame the sagging public sector, which employs a disproportionately high number of black workers. #

Florida’s unemployment rate fell to 10.6 percent in May, according to a survey released in mid-June by the state Agency for Workforce Innovation(.pdf), the lowest jobless rate in nearly two years. The report also indicates that in Miami-Dade County the unemployment rate was over 13 percent; in Broward county it was 9 percent. #

The Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP) at Florida International University reports that through 2009 and 2010 the number of unemployed blacks in Florida was almost 17 percent while Hispanics experienced 13 percent unemployment. #

The RISEP report (.pdf) also indicates that nationwide about 16 percent of black workers were unemployed, a number similar to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ June report. The RISEP report also indicates that Hispanic unemployment in the U.S. stood at 12.5 percent in 2010, a slight decrease when compared to Labor Statistics’ latest report. #

The situation for working women also shows progress and problems despite the recovery: Women have added no jobs, says the Center for American Progress. #

“In June 2011, women accounted for half of the jobs gained, but over the recovery so far, men have added 805,000 jobs, while women have lost 281,000,” a Center for American Progress report says. #

The report indicates that between June 2009 and May 2011, women added 405,000 health care jobs and 212,000 administrative and waste services jobs, but have shed 176,000 retail trade jobs and 143,000 financial activities jobs. #

American Progress also indicates that the Great Recession has led to budget cuts at the state and local level that affect the programs caregivers need to keep their jobs — such as after-school programs, home health services or other children’s educational or care programs. #

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