Wages Remain Stagnant Despite Low Unemployment

NCLR’s final Latino jobs report for 2015 was released today, highlighting continued job growth across the country. In December, 292,000 jobs were added, a welcome surge to ring in the New Year. Job growth was strongest in construction, where nearly 45,000 jobs were added in December alone, offering Latinos significant economic opportunities. Hispanics currently account for a full third of all construction workers in the United States.

While the addition of nearly 300,000 jobs is a good indicator that the American economy continues to grow, the overall unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 5 percent for the last three consecutive months. Unemployment among Latinos also remained virtually unchanged at 6.3 percent, down from 6.4 percent in November and October. Because Latinos are more likely to hold low- and poverty-wage jobs, they are disproportionately affected by wage stagnation. Despite the Federal Reserve’s estimates of a 3.5 percent growth in wages in 2015, actual wage growth for the year peaked at just 2 percent.

While we are happy to see a strong month of job growth close out 2015, problems such as wage stagnation must be addressed in order for our community to feel the full effects of our nation’s economic recovery.

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