Saturday, December 04, 2004

Zero Improvement for Hispanic Workers: Hispanic Unemployment Rate Unchanged, Significantly Higher Than National Rate

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/
-- Today the government reported that the Hispanic unemployment rate continued to be disproportionately higher than the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was 6.7 percent, with 1.3 million Hispanic Americans looking for work -- a 16 percent increase since President Bush took office.
The national unemployment rate was at 5.4 percent; with today's weak job numbers, 1.2 million private-sector jobs have been lost over the last four years. The average length of unemployment is at a 20-year high, and manufacturing jobs have been lost three months in a row remaining at a 54-year low. Americans working hard to provide for their families need good jobs and a growing economy.
"Today's lackluster jobs report makes clear that the economy has not 'turned the corner,' as President Bush claimed during the campaign," House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said. "Under Republican leadership, the manufacturing sector has been devastated, wages have not kept pace with inflation, and we have the worst record of job creation since the Great Depression."
"The Latino unemployment rate did not improve and it remains staggeringly higher than the national rate," Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA), member of the House Ways and Means Committee, said. "The policies of this Administration and the Republican Congress ignore the economic realities facing the hard working Latino community, making matters worse for Latinos, and benefiting the very wealthy at the expense of American workers."
"According to the President's spokesman, the Bush Administration is planning an economic summit in two weeks, to 'force' the President to focus on economic issues," Pelosi said. "Instead of using this summit to push the radical Republican plan to cut retirement benefits, or to discuss the merits of exporting American jobs, Republicans should use that time to come up with a real plan to create good paying jobs here at home, control the deficit, and help the middle class achieve financial security. Bipartisan solutions exist. But first, the Republicans must replace economic theory with real-world strategies that focus on job creation."
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an additional 1.3 million people fell out of the middle class and into poverty last year, with paychecks flat and household income down. While annual average incomes remained flat, incomes for Hispanics dropped by 2.6 percent, the only group whose incomes fell last year.
House Democrats have always fought on behalf of Hispanic American working families. The Democrat's Hispanic Agenda, Compromiso Democrata con el Pueblo Latino embodies this commitment. The proposals put forth by House Democrats would create 10 million new jobs, would fully fund education programs so that all our children can reach their potential, including migrant and seasonal worker's children. The Democratic commitment to Latino families is the same that produced 20 million new jobs during the 1990s and that has always defended the interests of the Hispanic community, especially during the last four years of insensitive neglect from Congressional Republicans and President Bush.

Source: Office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

CONTACT: Federico A. de Jesus of the Office of House Democratic Leader
Nancy Pelosi, +1-202-225-0100

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