Unemployment Rates Higher Among African American and Hispanic Oregonians

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Tue, January 15 2013 at 5:47 PM, Updated: Tue, January 15 2013 at 7:02 PM

Daniel Wilson has been hard on the hunt for a job.

"I don't want to give up but sometimes, I just feel like I want to give up looking for work," said Wilson.

According to data, he may have a more difficult time finding work than his fellow job seekers who are White.

"It seems like everything I do, it's just the same result," Wilson said.

According to Oregon's most recent unemployment numbers, broken up by race from back in 2011...

"The annual unemployment rate estimate for the White population was 9.1% [...] Hispanics 13.5% and Blacks 21.3%."

Among Asians, the unemployment rate was the lowest at 5.8%.

Yet, the rate of African Americans trying to find work (not including those who have given up) was about double the rate of Caucasians.

"You put in an application to 3-4 places that are hiring and you find out the next day someone else has the job who ain't a minority," commented Wilson.

Regional Economist Guy Tauer, said according to data, education may be a factor.

"Those populations with a higher percentage of more education do tend to have lower unemployment rates," he said.

According to the numbers, Black and Hispanic people have, historically had lower rates of college degrees compared to the White population in the United States. Asians have had the highest level of education.

However, for some job seekers, education doesn't seem like the problem.

"I have qualifications, I'm educated, I have my bachelors degree; And there have been a lot of times where I feel I was passed up," said David Tovar, who is a job seeker and also Latino.

Meantime, even as Daniel Wilson keeps struggling to find work, he's remaining positive...offering advice to people in his shoes.

"Don't give up is all I gotta say, don't give up. There's always hope," he said.

After speaking with experts, one thing we're told is that across all races data supports the more education you have the lower your unemployment rates and generally the higher your earnings.

Economists also added that there is a relatively large margin of error when it comes to unemployment rate estimates since a small section of the population was surveyed.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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