Latino Jobless Rate Hits Four-Year Low

The U.S. unemployment rate for Latinos fell to 9.6 percent in December, the lowest jobless rate in four years.

December was also the fourth straight month the jobless rate has fallen below 10 percent. Prior to September 2012, the Latino unemployment rate had not gone under 10 percent in 44 consecutive months.

However, despite the recent positive trend, Latino unemployment remains nearly 2 percentage points higher than the national average of 7.8 percent, and the rate is still nearly four percentage points above its pre-recession level of 5.8 percent in November 2007, according to the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The economic recovery for Latinos has been a roller coaster ride. The rate rose from 9.3 percent in December 2008 to 10 percent the following month, reaching a peak of 13 percent in August 2009.

About 2.3 million Latinos were still unemployed and looking for work last month, down by about 91,000 from November and nearly 233,000 less than in December 2011.

"While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression," a White House statement read.

Overall, the U.S. jobless rate rose slightly from 7.7 percent in November; a total of 155,000 jobs were created in December.

There are still over 12.2  unemployed Americans.

"It is clear there is still a long way to go before we can declare the economy is healthy again," Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) said in a statement on Friday.

"The simple truth is that our tax code is a nightmare.  Washington must work with the American people to pass and enact comprehensive tax reform that makes the tax code simpler and fairer so they are in control of their economic security, rather than Washington."

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