Hispanic Unemployment Rate Holds at 4.2% in December; Number Employed Up 634,000 from Year-Ago

By Craig Bannister | January 10, 2020 | 9:04am EST

The national, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos was 4.2% in December, unchanged from November’s rate, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday.

For Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S., both the number employed and the number unemployed fell from November’s level, as did the number participating in the labor force.

In December, the unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos, aged 16 and up, was 4.2%, unchanged from 4.2% in November, though still higher than its record low of 3.9% set in September of 2019. BLS began tracking Hispanic-Latino employment data in 1973.

The 28,286,000 Hispanics employed in December is down from the record 28,339,000 who had jobs in November. The number of unemployed Hispanics fell, from 1,236,000 in November to 1,231,000.

Year-to-year, 634,000 more Hispanics held jobs in December of 2019 than did so in December of 2018 and the number unemployed fell 37,000. At 4.2%, the unemployment rate was down from 4.4% in December of 2018.

29,517,000 Hispanics participated in the workplace in December of 2019, down from 29,575,000 the previous month, but up 597,000 from a year ago. Hispanics' labor force participation rate was 67.1% last month, down from 67.4% in November of 2019.

Hispanic-Latino employment statistics for December 2019:

  • Unemployment rate: 4.2%, unchanged from 4.2% in November.
  • Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population (16+ years old): 43,986,000 up from 43,902,000 in November.
  • Number Participating in Labor Force: from 29,517,000, down from 29,575,000 in November.
  • Labor Force Participation Rate: 67.1%, down from 67.4% in November.
  • Number Employed: 28,286,000, down from 28,339,000 in November.
  • Number Unemployed: from 1,231,000 down from 1,236,000 in November.

Fully 85% of Hispanics believe that their lives will get better in 2020 – topping the optimism of both Whites (79%) and Blacks (73%), a national USA Today/Suffolk University survey finds.

Overall, four out of five registered voters in the U.S. say their own lives will improve in the new year:

 “Do you think things are going to get better or worse in your own life?”

  • Better: 80%
  • Worse: 11%
  • Undecided: 9%

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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