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Report: Latinos Making Gains

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Aired 4/19/09

A new Pew Hispanic Center report shows Latino workers in the United States have made important gains. Growth in construction jobs in western states including California contributed to Latino’s progress. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has the story.

The study found the unemployment rate among Latinos dipped to a record low of 5.2 percent in the second quarter of 2006. Meanwhile, wages for Latino workers rose during the same period.

The report found construction is driving the job market for Latinos. About half a million landed jobs in that industry last year. And construction accounts for two-thirds of all new jobs for Latinos since 2003. However, the report warns the construction sector is showing signs of a slowdown. And that could hit Latinos hard.

Latinos accounted for about 40-percent of all workers who entered the U.S. labor force last year. During that time, the unemployment rate for white workers decreased from 4.1 percent down to 3.9 percent. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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