Latinos Saw Higher Job Growth than General Population, Says Study

Hispanics and Asians saw more job growth than other groups, largely due to their higher population growth, says a new Pew Research Center study.

The study looked at jobs recovery and demographic trends from 2009 to 2011.

Employed Hispanics rose from 19.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 to 20.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, an increase of 6.5 percent, the study said. The number of employed Asians grew from 6.7 million to 7.2 million, or by 6.8 percent.

For non-Hispanic whites, employment rose from 95.4 million to 96.4 million, or 1.1 percent. For non-Hispanic blacks, it rose from 14.3 million to 14.6 million, or more than 2 percent.

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The report said that Hispanic and Asian employment levels “are higher now than just before the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, a milestone not yet reached by white and black workers.”

“The disparate trends in the jobs recovery from 2009 to 2011 reflect the rapidly changing demographics of the American workforce,” the report said.  “The slower rate of jobs growth for whites and blacks reflects the relatively slow growth in their populations. Thus, the share of each group’s population that is employed, the employment rate, has barely risen since the end of the recession.”

The recession rocked the nation, sending employment plummeting from 145.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2007, to a low of 138.1 million by the fourth quarter of 2009.

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Employment then rebounded, rising to 141.2 million, a gain of 2.3 percent.

The study notes that just a handful of industries accounted for the job gains.

For Hispanics, the leading source of their employment gain occurred in the hospitality sector -- including eating, drinking and lodging services -- which accounted for more 300,000 jobs for Latinos, the study said.

Construction accounted for more than 100,000 jobs for Latinos, the study added.

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