Released: March 7, 2007
Construction Jobs Expand for Latinos Despite Slump in Housing Market
Appendix B: Labor Market Status of Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Workers in 2006
This appendix presents data on the employment status and earnings of Hispanic and non-Hispanic workers at the end of 2006.
- The unemployment rate for Hispanic workers in the fourth quarter of 2006 was 5% on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. That was nearly a percentage point less than the unemployment rate of 5.9% in the fourth quarter of 2005.
- The decrease in the Hispanic unemployment rate continued a trend that began in the middle of 2003. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, the gap between the Hispanic and non-Hispanic unemployment rates is now only 0.5 percentage points.
- The Latino labor force added 980,000 workers between the fourth quarters of 2005 and 2006. That accounted for 38% of all workers added to the U.S. labor force.
- Employment for Latinos increased by 1.1 million, rising 5.9% from the fourth quarter of 2005 to the fourth quarter of 2006. Latinos, who were 13.9% of the U.S. labor force, represented 36% of the total increase in employment.
- Foreign-born Latinos continued to account for most of the increase in the Latino labor force (825,000 out of 980,000) and employment (853,000 out of 1.1 million).
- The unemployment rate for foreign-born Latinos was 4.2% in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared with 5.9% for native-born Latinos in the same time period. For both groups of workers the unemployment rate at the end of 2006 was well below the level a year ago.
- The employment rate for Hispanics workers, or the percent of the working-age population that is employed, increased from 64.6% to 66.1% from the fourth quarter of 2005 to the fourth quarter of 2006.
- The labor force participation rate among Hispanics, or the percent of the working-age population that is either employed or actively seeking work, increased from 68.7% to 69.5% from the fourth quarter of 2005 to the fourth quarter of 2006.
- The median weekly earnings of Hispanic workers increased 2%, from $420 to $428, between 2005 and 2006. This rate of increase was higher than for other groups. However, Hispanics still have the lowest median wage of any racial or ethnic group.
- The median weekly earnings of foreign-born Hispanic workers fell 3.1% in 2006, from $400 to $388.