October 10, 2003

Hispanic Americans see little improvement in unemployment rate:

Number of unemployed Latinos almost doubled since Bush took office

Washington, D.C. — Hispanic Americans continue to struggle with very high unemployment, despite a slight improvement in the jobless rate. According to a government report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7.5 percent of Hispanic Americans were unemployed in September, compared with 6.1 percent of the general population. Unemployment among Latinos is 43 percent higher since President Bush took office.

“The slight increase in jobs last month is wonderful news for 57,000 Americans. But the 2.1 million Americans who have been actively looking for work for more than two years and the 5 million Americans who are working parttime but want to work fulltime know that it is far from enough,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “We must do more to create jobs and growth. Long-term unemployment is rising, manufacturing jobs are still being shed, household incomes are falling, and the number of people without health insurance is rising. The economy is in crisis.”

This same week the Census Bureau reported that 1 out of 3 Hispanics have no health insurance. The bureau also announced that the poverty level has risen for Americans at all income levels.

“This Administration continues to ignore the hardships Latino families face in homes across America. Now we have 7.5 million unemployed, and the failed Bush economic plan is evident. We deserve better and our families deserve more,” said Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ).

Congressional Democratic Leaders announced the economic portion of their Democratic Hispanic Agenda, “Compromiso Demócrata con el Pueblo Latino,” during the 4th Annual Hispanic Leadership Summit last month. The legislative initiatives proposed by the Democrats include: increasing the minimum wage, providing low income families with the child tax credit, giving small businesses a health care tax credit, protecting overtime pay for all American workers, tax credits to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S., and extending and expanding unemployment insurance.

“President Bush’s economic plan — massive tax cuts for the wealthy — has not created jobs.  It has only created debt that is mortgaging our children’s future for a tax break that benefits those who need it least,” Pelosi added.

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