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The latest jobs report shows that the overall unemployment rate dropped in May compared to April. However, the rate is still much higher than it was in February, and specific demographic groups continue to be the hardest hit. Most of the job losses have occurred in manual services, and so workers without a high school education fared the worst: their unemployment rate has risen from 5.7 in February to 19.9 percent in May. For young workers aged 16 to 24 years, many of whom work in the food service industry, unemployment has risen from 7.7 percent in February to a staggering 25.2 percent in May. Hispanic workers are disproportionately employed in the industries most impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and therefore experienced a larger increase in unemployment than other racial/ethnic groups. As the number of manual services jobs will remain well below prepandemic levels for a while, these demographic groups will continue to experience elevated unemployment rates.
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