The Demographics of the Jobs Recovery

Mar 21, 2012

The steep, two-year decline in employment triggered by the Great Recession was followed by slow but steady gains in employment for all groups of workers. However, the rapidly changing demographics of the American workforce has meant that the gains in jobs have varied across different groups.

Hispanics and Asians experienced a faster rate of growth in jobs than other groups. Their employment levels are higher now than just before the start of the recession in December 2007, a milestone not yet reached by white and black workers.

The story is the same when one looks at the jobs recovery for immigrants and native-born workers. Immigrants, the vast majority of whom are Hispanic or Asian, are experiencing a faster rate of growth in employment than are native-born workers. This difference is also roughly in line with the difference in the growth in their working-age populations during the recovery.

Although jobs growth for Hispanics and Asians was more rapid than for other groups, it merely kept pace with the growth in their working-age (ages 16 and older) populations. The slower rate of jobs growth for whites and blacks reflects the relatively slow growth in their populations. Thus, the share of each group's population that is employed, the employment rate, has barely risen since the end of the recession.

Read the full report, The Demographics of the Jobs Recovery, on the Pew Hispanic Center's Web site.

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