Unemployment Rate for Hispanics Tops 17% in 5 States

The Hispanic unemployment rate at the end of 2012 in 13 states significantly exceeded the state rate, with the percentage of jobless Hispanics surpassing 17 percent in five states.

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Overall, the unemployment rates likely will remain high for whites, Latinos, and African-Americans through the year, according to projections by the Economic Policy Institute.

The nationwide fourth-quarter unemployment rate for Hispanics, currently at 9.8 percent, will likely stay steady, though long-delayed economic improvement in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Georgia may bring declines there, reports Algernon Austin, director of EPI's program on race, ethnicity, and the economy.

The states with the highest fourth-quarter unemployment, by race:
Hispanics: Rhode Island, 18.2% vs. 10.3% overall; Connecticut, 16.1% vs. 8.8%; and Pennsylvania, 13.3% vs. 7.9%.
Blacks: Michigan, 18.6% vs. 9%; New Jersey, 17.8% vs. 9.7%; and Illinois, 17.6% vs. 8.7%.
Whites: Nevada, 9.3% vs. 10.8%; Rhode Island, 9% vs. 10.3%; and New Jersey, 8.6% vs. 9.7%.