CHC Statement on JEC Report on Unemployment in the Hispanic Community


Washington, DC – The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) today released the following statement upon the release of a new report released by the U.S. Congress’ Joint Economic Committee (JEC) providing an in-depth look at the unemployment situation in the Hispanic labor force:

“All Americans have been affected by this recession, but today’s report underscores that Hispanic workers have been hit particularly hard,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Chairwoman of the CHC.  “As Congress continues working on legislation to spur job growth, it is clear we will need targeted policies that help members of the Latino community find work and ensure they have the skills necessary to move into fast-growing sectors of the economy.

The report, entitled, “Understanding the Economy: Unemployment in the Hispanic Community, concludes that the increasing unemployment among Hispanic workers during the recession, and the increased disparity in unemployment rates between Hispanic workers and the overall workforce, appear to be largely caused by the collapse of the housing market. Hispanic workers were disproportionately employed in the construction sector, which was hit hard during the housing collapse, and in states such as California, Florida and Nevada, which experienced the largest declines in housing prices and the biggest increases in foreclosures.

“This study reveals the disproportionate impact the downturn in the economy has had on Hispanic working families, especially in the construction sector,” said Congressman Charles A. Gonzalez (D-TX), 1st Vice Chair of the CHC.  “It’s important we understand that Hispanic workers will continue to drive the growth of the labor force in the coming decades, as they are the fastest-growing minority group.  How Hispanics recover from this recession is of both immediate and long-term importance to our economy.

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