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Latinos, Hit Hard by Job Losses, Are Making Strong Comeback

Los Angeles Times (02/06/12) Don Lee

As the economic rebound picks up a bit of steam, Latinos are scoring bigger job gains than most other demographic groups and proving to be a bright spot in the fledgling recovery. Figures from the U.S. Labor Department show that while Latinos make up only 15% of the country’s work force, they have racked up half the employment gains posted since the economy began adding jobs in early 2010.

The latest Latino jobless rate of 10.5% remains higher than the overall rate of 8.3% for the nation and 7.4% for whites. The construction industry remains weak, but other sectors in which Latinos have a relatively large share of jobs—such as mining support services, hotels, food services, health care, and manufacturing—are seeing more robust job growth. Latinos also appear to be more willing to take low-wage, temporary jobs, and to be more mobile, willing to move from one county to another to get a job.