Hispanic Unemployment Now Exceeds African American Unemployment in California
by Janine Fondon
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) reports that minorities' share of unemployment is expected to keep growing at least through the middle of next year. EPI's analysis puts unemployment among African Americans in Michigan at 24.9% in the second quarter of 2010 — the same overall level reached during the Great Depression. The highest unemployment among Hispanics at that time — 17.9% — is expected in California. In the quarter just completed, the jobless rate among Hispanics, normally lower than for African Americans, has surpassed the African American rate in California — 15.7% for Hispanics vs. 15.3% for African Americans.
EPI's analysis shows that in the second quarter of 2010, when overall unemployment is expected to reach 10.1%, 22 states and the District of Columbia will be in the double-digit category. The highest rate of any state is expected in Michigan, where overall unemployment of 15.4% is projected.
"Policy movers should understand that not all states or racial and ethnic groups are experiencing the same degree of economic hardship," said Algernon Austin, author of the study and director of EPI's Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy program.
Projection by State: African Americans to Face Unemployment As High As 25% by Mid-2010
Out of the 18 states plus the District of Columbia where the African American population is large enough for statistically reliable projections, unemployment among African Americans is expected to be in double digits in all but Maryland, where it is expected to reach 8.9%.
Projected African American unemployment is expected to be the highest in: Michigan, 24.9%; Ohio, 20.7%; Alabama, 19.6%; South Carolina, 19.1%; New York, 18.6%; Illinois, 18.6%; and North Carolina, 18.5%.
In California, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, African American unemployment is expected to range from 13.1% (VA) to 17.9% (MS).
Hispanic Unemployment Rising Fast
Although unemployment is generally not as severe among Hispanics as among African Americans, Hispanic unemployment is rising rapidly. In the second quarter of next year, Hispanics in 10 of the 12 states where projections are possible are expected to experience double-digit unemployment.
Jobless rates will be highest in California and Nevada, 17.9% and 17.8%, respectively, followed by Connecticut (15.0%), Arizona (13.9%), Florida (13.4%) and New Jersey (13.3%). Other states in double digits will be Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico and New York. Texas and Maryland are expected to reach 9.4% and 8.9%, respectively.