At last! Hispanic Job Share Drops—Slightly—Maybe
October 12, 2005, 05:09 AM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
Payroll employment fell by 35,000 positions in September, a stronger than expected showing given the havoc created by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Household Survey was still more upbeat, reporting a September job loss of just 17,000.

Even bigger more surprising: the Household Survey’s finding that Hispanic employment declined by 117,000, or 0.6 percent, in September.

This was the first reduction in Hispanic employment since April, and the largest monthly reduction in Hispanic employment since February 2004, when it fell 0.9 percent. Non-Hispanic employment rose by 100,000, or 0.08 percent in September, and the VDAWDI index of worker displacement declined to 113.7 from 114.5 in August.

But the long-term trend is firmly intact: From the start of the George W. Bush’s Administration (January 2001) through September 2005 Hispanic employment rose by 17.7 percent, while non-Hispanic employment grew by just 3.4 percent.

I expected VDAWDI [the VDARE.COM American Worker Displacement Index ] to rise because Hispanics seemed less likely than other groups to be among the weather related economic victims in Louisiana and Mississippi. The storms’ impact on heavily Hispanic regions of Florida may be the missing ingredient.

Or the September employment figures may simply be wrong - despite the best efforts of BLS to make adjustments.

The September Household Survey was conducted “largely according to standard procedures” according to the BLS press release, adding that “Efforts were made to contact households in storm-affected areas with the exception of Orleans and Jefferson parishes in Louisiana, which were under mandatory evacuation orders when instructions were issued.”

I suspect the BLS figures underreport job losses throughout the Gulf region, and that this may have distorted VDAWDI for the month of September.

Stay tuned.