The April job numbers are out, and the signs are encouraging. According to the Department of Labor, job growth in April was better than expected. Last month, 165,000 jobs were added and the unemployment rate remained about the same at 7.5%.
But what is the employment picture for Latinos? In our latest Monthly Latino Employment Report, which we released today, we note that last month the unemployment rate for Latinos dipped to 9%, a slight decrease from March, when it was 9.2 percent. At 65.7 percent, however, the Latino labor force participation rate remains the highest of any demographic group.
We also focused on what the labor market looks like for teens. Our community is rapidly becoming characterized by our youth, which makes these teens an important segment of our economy. Currently, the unemployment rate for Latino teens ages 16–24 is a whopping 18 percent.
Youth employment, even while going to high school or college, has not only short-term but also long-term positive consequences. For many young people, a paycheck can strengthen their livelihood and the ability to contribute and support their family income, particularly in the case of Latinos.
.…Unemployment rates are higher for workers ages 16 to 24 compared to their older counterparts. In fact, over the last decade unemployment has been rising for all young people, regardless of race and ethnicity.
Latino youth certainly face significant barriers to employment that put them at a disadvantage, including the pressure to work, low educational attainment, and high dropout rates. These factors limit a significant segment of young Latinos from getting full-time, well-paying jobs with career paths.
There is much more information about the labor prospects for our youth available in the full report, including the story of 18-year-old Vanessa Velazquez, a paid intern at the Maryland Multicultural Youth Center, an NCLR Affiliate. Organizations like these are essential for serving high-needs youth, especially Latinos.
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