The unemployment rate for Hispanics in New Mexico is double the rate for non-Hispanic whites, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute.
In the last quarter of 2012, the unemployment rate for Hispanics here was 8.2 percent, compared to 4.7 percent for whites.
Sharon Kayne of the non-profit New Mexico Voices for Children says the higher rate for Hispanics is likely linked to the crash of the construction industry after the housing bubble burst in 2008. That industry attracts many young Hispanic male workers. Kayne says the consequences are especially dire for the 50 percent of the state's children who are Hispanic. "It's likely that a lot of people who were doing well before the recession because they had a good paying job in construction, it's likely they've been out of work for a while and that's really tough on families and kids."
New Mexico's unemployment rate is still 1.5 percent less than the national average of 7.8 percent.