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Even as the unemployment rate continues to drop around the country – which is a clear positive sign for the economy – the situation for many Latino and low-income families is still very bleak. Approximately 1 in 6 households have zero or negative net worth, according to the financial website Prosperity Now.
In the state of Nevada (27.53% Latino population), the financial situation for many families mirrors what is happening nationally. Large numbers of Nevada families are struggling with low-wage jobs that do not allow them to save, according to a report from Northern Nevada Business Weekly.
Of the households in Nevada, nearly 44% are considered “liquid asset poor.” This means that they have so little funds saved that they could not live at the poverty level for three months if they experienced a life-altering occurrence like a loss of job or medical emergency.
Why is this the case?
Research has shown that, while employment overall has increased, the “poor quality” of many of the jobs makes it difficult for families to stay ahead of basic household expenses (rent/mortgage, utilities, and food).
According to data from Prosperity Now, minority families (including Latinos) in Nevada struggle even more. They are twice as likely to live below the poverty line and are much less likely to own a home or have other assets that would boost their long-term financial stability.
“Beyond providing a cushion to get families through emergencies, increased savings and wealth allow families to invest in their futures and gain ground for future generations,” said Andrea Levere, president of Prosperity Now in an interview. “It’s clear that far too many people are stuck in economic limbo. They may be getting by, but they aren’t getting ahead.”
Read how groups across the country are working to improve income and housing equity for Latinos: