SOURCE: Dallas Attorney Angel Reyes

October 08, 2008 17:03 ET

Hispanic Workforce Hit Harder During Economic Downturns

Texas Tech Researchers Recommend Policy Action to Close Hispanic Unemployment Gap

DALLAS, TX--(Marketwire - October 8, 2008) - Hispanic workers represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. workforce, but they also are at particular risk during economic downturns, suffering negative effects sooner, more severely and for longer duration than their white counterparts, according to the findings of an academic study published in the Journal of Business Valuation and Economic Loss Analysis.

Analyzing employment data from 1976 to 2008, researchers from the Texas Tech University Rawls College of Business™ conclude that historically, workers of Hispanic heritage have faced greater threats of unemployment, lower rates of successful job matches and greater instability than the workforce as a whole. The findings are presented in a paper titled, "Examination and Comparison of Hispanic and White Unemployment Rates," authored by Dallas attorney Angel Reyes, Texas Tech professors Bradley T. Ewing, Ph.D., and James C. Wetherbe, Ph.D., and Augusta State University professor Mark A. Thompson, Ph.D.

"Even during periods of non-economic downturn, the Hispanic unemployment rate is highly volatile," Mr. Reyes says. "These findings should serve as a warning call that this large and growing segment has risk factors that should be addressed. The success or failure of this segment can influence the entire economic system."

Based on historic employment trends, the study found that the disparity in unemployment rates between white and Hispanic workers likely will not correct itself and recommends policy actions to address some of the underlying causes. The researchers found that Hispanic workers are vulnerable to job loss in part because they are underrepresented in managerial and professional positions and jobs that are less vulnerable to economic downturns such as education and health care.

Mr. Reyes says the findings are particularly important because workers of Hispanic origin represent such a large and growing segment of the U.S. workforce.

"This paper arrives at a time where there is still an opportunity to affect this trend," he says. "There are strategic policies available that can have a great influence over this large segment of our population."

For more information or for a copy of the study, please contact Mark Annick at 800-559-4534, 214-213-1754 (mobile) or

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