Washington, DC-Congress will return to work after Labor Day, but millions of American workers will not be so fortunate. Data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today showed that unemployment remains high, particularly for Latino and Black workers. In August, the unemployment rate rose to 9.7%, with Latino unemployment increasing to 13% and Black unemployment to 15.1%. For months, NCLR (National Council of La Raza), the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, has joined with other civil rights leaders, think tanks, and national policy organizations to call attention to these disparities. Following this week's release of a major report on Latino workers,Fractures in the Foundation: The Latino Worker's Experience in an Era of Declining Job Quality, NCLR underscored this message by focusing on the substandard conditions many Latino workers endure unnecessarily on a daily basis.
"If we are to be the architects of a new economy, we must begin by assessing the condition of the foundation," said Janet Murguía, NCLR President and CEO. "The fact that Latinos consistently have the highest rates of deadly injuries on the job is evidence that the laws we enacted to protect workers on the job are in major disrepair. Restoring fairness, safety, and dignity to the workplace must be a priority as we strive to put people back to work."
"The employment picture remains a tough one for many Americans," said Heather Boushey, Senior Economist at the Center for American Progress. "While the focus should be on creating good jobs, it is also important to ensure robust labor standards and adequate wages for all workers."
To download a copy of NCLR's new report, Fractures in the Foundation: The Latino Worker's Experience in an Era of Declining Job Quality, please visit www.nclr.org/fractures. For more information on NCLR, visit www.nclr.org | http://www.facebook.com/nationalcounciloflaraza | http://www.myspace.com/nclr2008 | http://twitter.com/nclr.