Employment in the United States increased by 74,000 workers last month, according to the latest figures from the Department of Labor, which releases employment data on the first Friday of each month. It was the smallest increase in the number of jobs in three years. The unemployment rate, however, did drop from 7 percent to 6.7 percent, its lowest level since October 2008. The drop is due mostly to the fact that more people stopped looking for employment.
The Latino unemployment rate also fell .4 points from 8.7 percent to 8.3 percent. That welcome news, however, is blunted by the fact the the Latino labor participation also dropped. In December, the Latino workforce shrank by 261,000
Today’s numbers are stark reminders of all that’s left to do to get Americans back to work and to get our economy booming again. One of the ways we can do that is by raising the federal minimum wage. This year, the Senate is is preparing to advance and vote on legislation that would dramatically increase the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2015. An increase would guarantee that more people who work in low-wage jobs can afford the basics needed to live and to help grow the economy.
You can read more about the fight to raise the minimum wage for Latino workers in our first Monthly Latino Employment Report (below) of 2014. And, if you haven’t already done so, join our Mobile Action Network today and stay updated on the latest news and information on issues that affect Latino workers and families. Just text JOBS to 62571 and you’ll be signed up!