Migrants, Mexico and the Job Market

Hispanic unemployment and illegal immigration levels from Mexico are both relatively low at the start of the Trump Administration.

January 27, 2017

Hispanic unemployment and illegal immigration levels from Mexico are both relatively low at the start of the Trump Administration.

1. Unemployment among U.S. Hispanics is not significantly higher than among the overall population.

2. In December 2016, the unemployment rate for Hispanics was just 5.9% — somewhat higher than the 4.7% overall U.S. unemployment rate and the 4.1% white unemployment rate.

3. However, while the Hispanic unemployment rate is only somewhat above the full employment level, unemployment for (non-Hispanic) African-Americans, at 7.9% as of December 2016, is 68% higher than the national average.

4. In the younger age cohort of those 20-24, 8.8% Hispanics were unable to find work in the fourth quarter of 2016.

5. After the U.S. housing bubble burst, hundreds of thousands of Hispanic construction jobs vanished. Many farm jobs dried up, too.

6. The flow of undocumented immigrants from Latin America reversed direction after the U.S. recession began in late 2007.

7. For example, while the total number of undocumented Mexicans in the United States peaked at 6.9 million in 2007, it fell to 5.4 million in 2014.

The upshot

Even though undocumented immigration from Latin America was turned into a big topic in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign by Donald Trump, the actual evidence from the numbers points to a reduced problem.

Sources: The Globalist Research Center, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Fusion

Takeaways

In the 20-24 age group, 8.8% Hispanics were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2016.

After the U.S. housing bubble burst, hundreds of thousands of Hispanic construction jobs vanished.

The total number of undocumented Mexicans in the US fell to 5.4 million in 2014.