Hispanic unemployment rate in Inland Empire is third highest in the US

Published On : 7/5/2012 10:20 AM
From : KVCR
Categories : Local, State

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The Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C., reports that the rate of unemployment among Hispanics in Inland Southern California last year was 15.4 percent. The overall jobless rate in the Inland Empire is now 11.8 percent. The national unemployment rate is 8.2 percent.

The institute studied 25 large metropolitan areas. The nation's highest Hispanic jobless rate was in Providence, Rhode Island, at 23.3 percent in 2011. That was double the national Hispanic unemployment rate of 11.5 percent in 2011. The overall jobless rate in the U.S. is 8.2 percent.

The policy group says Orlando, Fla., had the next highest Hispanic jobless rate of 16.6 percent, followed by the Inland Empire at 15.4 percent. The study also says that our region had one of the most improved unemployment rates among Hispanics in the country. In 2010, the Hispanic jobless rate in the Inland Empire was 18.7 percent, more than 2-and-a-half points higher than it was last year.

We’ve all heard the statistics: the Inland Empire’s economy has been among the hardest hit anywhere in the nation. Job losses and home foreclosure rates in our region have been among the worst in the country. The chief economist for the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, John Husing, says one of the reasons our region took a harder hit than elsewhere is because, before the recession , the Inland Empire was experiencing one of the nation’s biggest spurts of growth.

“From 200 to 2007, the Inland Empire created 42 percent of all the news jobs in the state of California. Second place didn’t count, wherever it was, which was probably Los Angeles. We were the engine. So the question is, was that an aberration? Or in fact, are we ever set up to get back to playing that kind of a role?”

Dr. Husing cites a study commissioned by the Southern California Association of Governments that forecasts over the next 25 years, population and job growth in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties could outperform every other county in Southern California. But Husing says that could only happen if home foreclosures and short sales are stemmed, and if local and state governments can get their budget problems resolved.

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