Hispanic Unemployment Rate More Than Triples to Record High in April; 5 Million Lose Jobs

Craig Bannister | May 8, 2020 | 9:07am EDT
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(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The 18.9% national, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos in April more than tripled from March’s 6.0% level, as the number employed plummeted by more than five million (5,093,000) and the number unemployed jumped by more than three million (3,492,000) from March’s levels.

The 18.9% unemployment rate tops the previous record high of 15.7% set nearly four decades earlier in December of 1982. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) began tracking Hispanic-Latino employment data in 1973.

Hispanics’ unemployment rate suffered the steep rise despite a decline in the number participating in the work force and a drop in Hispanics’ labor force participation rate, from 67.1% to 63.3%, the BLS reported Friday.

Only two months earlier, in February, Hispanics 68.1% work force participation rate hit the highest mark in a decade (68.1% in March of 2010),

Likewise, April’s 18.9% unemployment rate is only seven months removed from the record low of 3.9% set in September of 2019.

Hispanics' unemployment rate exceeded that of Blacks, Asians and Whites, the BLS reports, noting that, of "all major work groups," only Blacks' unemployment rate did not set a new record high in April:

"In April, unemployment rates rose sharply among all major worker groups. The rate was 13.0 percent for adult men, 15.5 percent for adult women, 31.9 percent for teenagers, 14.2 percent for Whites, 16.7 percent for Blacks, 14.5 percent for Asians, and 18.9 percent for Hispanics. The rates for all of these groups, with the exception of Blacks, represent record highs for their respective series."

Hispanic-Latino employment statistics for April 2020:

  • Unemployment rate: 18.9% up from 6.0% in March.
  • Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population (16+ years old): 43,975,000, up from 43,895,000 in March.
  • Number Participating in Labor Force: 27,841,000 down from 29,443,000 in March. 
  • Labor Force Participation Rate: 63.3%, down from 67.1% in March.
  • Number Employed: 22,579,000, down from 27,672,000 in March
  • Number Unemployed: 5,263,000, up from 1,771,000 in March

The business and economic reporting of is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

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