U.S. Unemployment Rate Holds Steady in September, Decreases Among Hispanic Workers


The U.S. Unemployment Rate Holds Steady, but Decreases Among Hispanic Workers

Positive Job Growth in September

The U.S. Labor Department has released data showing that the country’s unemployment rate remained steady in September. However, there was a decrease in the jobless rate among Hispanic workers.

The nonfarm payrolls report for September revealed impressive job growth across various sectors. The economy added 336,000 jobs last month, surpassing the estimated 170,000 jobs projected by economists. The overall unemployment rate held steady at 3.8%, slightly exceeding the forecasted 3.7%.

Among Hispanic workers, the jobless rate decreased from 4.9% to 4.6%. Specifically, the rate dipped to 4.3% among Hispanic women and remained steady at 4.3% for Hispanic men.

Additionally, the labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of people working or actively searching for employment, increased from 67.1% in August to 67.3% in September.

Positive Outlook for Hispanic Workers

Michelle Holder, an associate economics professor at John Jay College in New York, believes that the combination of a lower unemployment rate and higher labor force participation is a positive scenario for Hispanic workers. She attributes this success to job growth in the leisure and hospitality industry, where Hispanics are often overrepresented.

Elise Gould, a senior economist at The Economic Policy Institute, sees the data as a mild sign of improvement in the labor market for Hispanic workers. However, she advises against placing too much emphasis on month-to-month metrics, which can be volatile.

Although the jobless rate among Hispanic workers still lags behind that of white and Asian workers, which stand at 3.4% and 2.8% respectively, it does mark a significant improvement from the high unemployment rates experienced during the pandemic.

Increase in Unemployment Rate Among Black Workers

On the other hand, the jobless rate among Black workers increased from 5.3% in August to 5.7% in September. The unemployment rate rose to 5.6% among Black men and fell to 4.5% among Black women.

Continued Progress Amid Discrepancies

Despite these discrepancies, Elise Gould notes that the jobless rate for Black workers remains near the levels seen a year ago and well below pre-pandemic levels.

Labor force participation rates also saw some changes. Among Hispanic men, the rate increased from 79.2% in August to 79.5% in September. For Hispanic women, the rate remained steady at 61.8%. Among Black workers, the participation rate increased from 62.6% to 62.9%. For Black men, the rate rose to 68.6% and for Black women, it decreased slightly to 62.6%.

— HaberTusba’s Gabriel Cortes contributed reporting

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