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According to a report by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), the average U.S. Latino worker earns less than white counterparts. Latinos are behind the majority white population on several important economic factors, such as employment and income.
Latinos represent 17% of the total U.S. population and are the largest ethnic group in the nation. The report noted that the median income for Latino households is $42,500, nearly $18,000 less than non-Latino whites. Foreign-born Latinos have an even lower median household income with $34,600.
“It’s important to know where we are as a Latino community and what we need to do to continue in the right direction,” said CHC Chairwoman Linda Sanchez. “We are making progress in some areas … but in others we are still lagging behind.”
The report, entitled “The Economic State of the Latino Community in America,” does have some positive outcomes for Latinos. The Latino population is relatively young, approximately 10 years younger than the overall population, and advancements in education and “entrepreneurial drive” are future opportunities for the community.
In high-paying industries, however, Latinos are noticeably underrepresented. This includes in business, finance, education, and health services. Latinos are also more likely to have employment in the service industries, such as food service, grounds keeping, and maintenance. They are also overrepresented in industries such as construction, agriculture, and leisure and hospitality.
“As a nation of immigrants, it’s alarming to see how much further we have to go to make sure all children can afford to go to college, own their own home, and earn a secure retirement,” said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra. “My parents came from a generation where even without a college degree, they were able to send their four kids to college. I don’t know how many construction workers and clerical workers today can still dream to send their kids to college, and this needs to change.”