Jobs recovery continues, Latino unemployment falls to 10.5%
One of the largest obstacles for President Obama’s reelection campaign is the high unemployment rate. (Photo: Facebook)
Today’s U.S. jobs report showed that the jobs recovery continued in January. A total of 243,000 non-farm payroll jobs were created in the month, reducing the unemployment rate to 8.3% from 8.5% in December. This was better than many had expected. The unemployment rate for Latinos dropped to 10.5% from 11% in December. The number of employed Latinos is up by 9.1% compared to January 2011. This is greater than the 1.7% increase in overall employed.
Who is hiring?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
“Private-sector employment grew by 257,000, with the largest employment gains in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. Government employment was little changed over the month.”
Professional and business services added 70,000 jobs in the month with employment services accounting for almost half of that growth. The manufacturing sector continued to grow adding 50,000 jobs in January.
The leisure and hospitality sector added 44,000 jobs, mainly in food and beverage services. The healthcare sector continued to be relatively strong, adding 31,000 jobs; hospitals and ambulance services did particularly well. Employment in construction increased by 21,000 in January, down slightly from a gain of 31,000 in December.
Hourly wages rose in January by 0.2% to $23.29. Over the past twelve months hourly wages have risen by 1.9%.
Obama’s reelection hinges in large part on the state of the economy. Opinion polls indicate the economy and jobs are the number one issue for voters of all stripes and economic indicators, such as the unemployment report, double as campaign trail fodder for politicians.
If the unemployment rate ticks up before November, Republicans will surely pounce on Obama’s economic record. If it continues to fall, expect to see Obama and Democrats on the airwaves with smiles on their faces.
In no place is unemployment a bigger issue than Nevada, the next state on the Republican primary calendar. The state has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 12.6 percent and the Latino unemployment rate is at a staggering 19 percent.