According to the United States Department of Labor, the American economy added 215,000 jobs in March. February saw the addition of 245,000 jobs, which led to some discouragement. The national unemployment rate rose slightly to 5 percent, following a four-month decline, while Latino unemployment rose to 5.6 percent.
Among all sectors of the economy, the retail sector saw the greatest growth in March, adding 48,000 jobs. Latinos make up a greater share of retail employees compared to their representation in the total workforce.
The rates of both employed and unemployed Latinos increased in March. This may hint at a greater number of Latinos previously discouraged from looking for work now entering the workforce as the economy adds more jobs and the demand for workers increases. Should the trend of rising employment continue, we could, and hope to, see the rate of Latino unemployment return to its previously steady decline.
Although March’s job numbers were less than stellar when compared to the previous months, the underlying signs are encouraging as we see more Latino workers actively seeking work. With increasing demand for employees, many of these jobseekers could enter the workforce in the next few months. Despite a slowdown in the number of jobs added, and a slight bump in unemployment in March, the economy is poised to continue its upward trajectory and Latinos stand to make up a large portion of those gaining employment.