Hispanic Unemployment Rate Rises in March; Labor Force Participation Rate Falls From 10-Year High

By Craig Bannister | April 3, 2020 | 9:10am EDT

The national, seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos was 6.0 % in March, up from 4.4% in February, as the number employed fell from the record high set in February and the work force participation rate fell from its highest mark in nearly ten years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday.

For Hispanics and Latinos in the U.S., the number employed fell from 28,531,000 to 27,672,000 and the number unemployed rose to 1,771,000 from February’s level of 1,322,000, while the number participating in the labor force dropped.

In March, the unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos, aged 16 and up, was 6.0%, up from 4.4% in February. The record low of 3.9% set in September of 2019. BLS began tracking Hispanic-Latino employment data in 1973.

Nationally, for all demographic cohorts, the March unemployment rate--which registered a 50-year low of 3.5 percent in February--jumped to 4.4 percent in March. And, after breaking 25 records under President Donald Trump--most recently in December 2019--the number of employed Americans dropped sharply in March, to 155,772,000, while the number of unemployed Americans increased by 1,353,000 in March to 7,140,000.

29,443,000 Hispanics participated in the workplace in March, off from 29,852,000 the previous month. Hispanics' labor force participation rate was 67.1% last month, down from 68.1% in February, which was the highest participation since the 68.1% rate recorded in March of 2010.

The monthly employment numbers compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reflect the pay period that includes the 12th of the month--or March 12, in the case of today's report.

Hispanic-Latino employment statistics for March 2020:

  • Unemployment rate:  6.0%, up from 4.4% in February.
  • Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population (16+ years old): 43,895,000, up from 43,820,000 in February.
  • Number Participating in Labor Force: 29,443,000, down from 29,852,000 in February.
  • Labor Force Participation Rate: 67.1%, down from 68.1% in February.
  • Number Employed: 27,672,000, down from 28,531,000 in February.
  • Number Unemployed: 1,771,000, up from 1,322,000 in February.

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