African American and Hispanic unemployment rates are significantly higher than the white unemployment rate in Texas, a new Economic Policy Institute Issue Brief finds. In Ongoing Joblessness in Texas: African American and Hispanic unemployment rates far exceed the white unemployment rate in the state, EPI researchers Douglas Hall and Mary Gable find that five years after the beginning of the Great Recession, African Americans and Hispanics continue to have disproportionately high unemployment rates. The unemployment rate of African Americans in Texas was 11.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, more than two-and-a-half times that of the white unemployment rate of 4.3 percent. For Hispanic workers in Texas, the unemployment rate was 7.0 percent, more than one-and-a-half times the white unemployment rate.
Further, while Texas has experienced steady job growth since the depths of the Great Recession, it has barely kept up with population growth. By February 2013, Texas still needed nearly 590,000 jobs to return to prerecession employment rates. Moreover, relatively large numbers of jobs created in Texas are in low-wage industries. In 2012, Texas had the second highest share of wage workers paid the minimum wage or less, at 7.5 percent, behind only Idaho’s 7.7 percent.