Unemployment among Hispanic workers rises at faster pace in October than overall rate

The latest data from the Department of Labor reveals a concerning trend in the U.S. labor market, with a notable deterioration in the employment situation for Hispanic workers. In October, the overall unemployment rate in the country increased by 0.1%, reaching 3.9%, marking the highest level since January 2022. This uptick in the unemployment rate was unexpected, as it was anticipated that it would remain stable at 3.8%.

For Hispanic Americans, the situation was even more challenging, as their jobless rate rose by 0.2% to 4.8% in the same period. Additionally, Black Americans, who already had the highest unemployment rate in the United States, saw their unemployment rate increase by 0.1% to 5.8% last month. It’s important to note that the record low for Black unemployment was 5.4% in October 2019.

Julia Pollak, Chief Economist at ZipRecruiter, highlighted that when averages decline in the labor market, there is often a more pronounced impact on the lower end of the wage distribution. This means that low-wage workers, individuals with lower levels of education, and those facing barriers to employment tend to bear the brunt of any slowdown in the labor market.

Both Black and Hispanic Americans experienced significant challenges during the business shutdowns that occurred during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic. The unemployment rate for Black workers reached a peak of 16.8% in 2020, and the jobless rate for Hispanic workers surged as high as 18.8%. The overall unemployment rate for the entire country also reached a high of 14.7% in April 2020. These figures underscore the disproportionate impact of economic downturns on these communities and highlight the need for targeted measures to address these disparities in the labor market.