When the job numbers came out early this month, they were not pretty – especially for the Latino community.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the unemployment rate for the Latino community had risen to 6.8% – well above the national average of 5.3%.  These numbers suggest that in spite of claims that the economy has rebounded since the 2008 recession began, Americans – particularly Latinos – have reason to remain pessimistic about the nation’s economic outlook.  This is confirmed as Gallup’s most recent published data on the Economic Confidence Index (ECI) indicates that 57% of responders believe the economy will continue to worsen.  What’s most striking about Gallup’s latest opinion data is that the ECI has experienced a 19-point swing from +5 in January 2015 to a year-to-date low of -14 for July 2015.

The fact is that the current long-term unemployed rate of 26.9% remains nearly a full percentage point higher than the highest rate it rose to during the recession of the early 1980s.  (It reached a high of 26% in June 1983.)  Not only is long-term unemployment high, but overall productivity (measured in hourly output per worker) is virtually stagnant from a year ago, rising only by 0.3%, which gives rise to concerns about greater inflation.

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“Unemployment and employment statistics for the US since 2000” by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The post-2008 recession Employment-Population Ratio has been at sustained early-1980s levels for the past five years.

Regardless of attempts to sell Americans on believing that we enjoy an improved economy, the data simply does not show that the administration’s policies have spurred growth and economic stability.

The Libre Initiative, a non-partisan, non-profit grassroots organization that advances the principles and values of economic freedom to empower the U.S. Hispanic community released a statement in response to the bleak economic outlook, particularly for the Latino community:

“Once again we find Americans, and particularly the Hispanic community, struggling for relief in this mediocre economy. While the unemployment rate for the general population has dropped, unemployment in our Latino community remains disappointingly high in comparison – and even increased this past month. Companies are struggling to expand, they’re unable to generate jobs, and big government in large part is to blame for this.

The Obama administration has been focused on adding regulations more so than adding jobs. If we expect to see a thriving America, lawmakers need to put a stop to senseless mandates, free the hands of job creators and incentivize people to be self-reliant — instead of boasting about increased dependency. There has been a lot of talk of making America great again, but what makes America great are Americans. No matter where we come from we’re all here because this is the land of opportunity — let’s make this a reality once again.”

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Latinos for Tennessee is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting faith, family and liberty to Latinos in Tennessee.