Job gains bypass Latinos
The Mexican native struggled to find work when the housing market and broader economy slumped. He found fewer jobs remodeling homes. His paychecks shriveled from $600 a week to as little as $500 a month, forcing him to nearly deplete his savings to take care of his wife and two children.
“Work finally started to pick up last year,” said Reyes, who immigrated to Nashville 16 years ago.
But for Latinos like Reyes who suffered among the worst of job losses during hard times, recent gains driving the Tennessee jobless rate down to 8.2 percent for January haven’t treated all types of workers equally.
The state’s Latino jobless rate, for instance, had inched up to an average of 10.6 percent in 2011 (about 2 percentage points higher than a year earlier), according to government estimates. Black unemployment is worse, at 14.9 percent, while the preliminary jobless rate for whites on average last year was 7.9 percent.
Why the disparity? Economists and labor experts aren’t sure.
Read the full story at the Tennessean.com