The slump in the construction industry has taken a heavy toll on Latino workers. From a historic low in late 2006, the unemployment rate for Latinos rose sharply in 2007 and currently stands well above the rate for non-Latinos. Immigrant Latino workers have been hit especially hard.
While the latest statistics reported fewer job losses than analysts expected, the public is expressing increasing concern about job availability; but unlike in the 1992 downturn, such worries are concentrated in the lower portions of the income spectrum.
At a time when the U.S. economy is faltering, one out of every seven U.S. workers -- especially those who have already hit hard times in the recent past -- fear they will be laid off in the next 12 months.
A new Pew Social Trends study finds that fewer Americans now than at any time in the past half century believe they're moving forward in life. But at the same time, two-thirds say they have a higher standard of living than their parents had.
Public satisfaction with the state of the nation is about as low as it has been in 20 years of Pew polling; but optimism about the future rises somewhat.
Already, 22 states have a collective budget shortfall of at least $37 billion; if the current slowdown follows the path of previous recessions, 35 to 40 states could face budget cuts in 2009.
A new survey of national and local reporters, producers, editors and executives finds soaring economic woes eclipse traditional worries about quality of coverage and credibility.
Public views of the U.S. economy, already quite negative, have plummeted since January. Just 17% currently rate the nation's economy as excellent or good, down from 26% last month.
But candidates' perceptions on economic growth and tax cuts diverge from overall public priorities.
Republicans and Democrats agree the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress, but they differ more than ever on the importance of other domestic issues -- such as global warming and health insurance for the uninsured.