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Unauthorized Immigrant Population: National and State Trends

by Jeffrey S. Passel, Senior Demographer, Pew Hispanic Center, and
D’Vera Cohn, Senior Writer, Pew Research Center

Although the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. is below 2007 levels, it has tripled since 1990, when it was 3.5 million and grown by a third since 2000, when it was 8.4 million. | Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population 2010 - Pew Hispanic

Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population 2010 – Pew Hispanic

As of March 2010, 11.2 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States, virtually unchanged from a year earlier, according to new estimates from the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. This stability in 2010 follows a two-year decline from the peak of 12 million in 2007 to 11.1 million in 2009 that was the first significant reversal in a two-decade pattern of growth. Unauthorized immigrants were 3.7% of the nation’s population in 2010.

The number of unauthorized immigrants in the nation’s workforce, 8 million in March 2010, also did not differ from the Pew Hispanic Center estimate for 2009. As with the population total, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the labor force had decreased in 2009 from its peak of 8.4 million in 2007. They made up 5.2% of the labor force in 2010.

The number of children born to at least one unauthorized-immigrant parent in 2009 was 350,000 and they made up 8% of all U.S. births, essentially the same as a year earlier. An analysis of the year of entry of unauthorized immigrants who became parents in 2009 indicates that 61% arrived in the U.S. before 2004, 30% arrived from 2004 to 2007, and 9% arrived from 2008 to 2010.

Other key points from the new report include:

The decline in the population of unauthorized immigrants from its peak in 2007 appears due mainly to a decrease in the number from Mexico, which went down to 6.5 million in 2010 from 7 million in 2007. Mexicans remain the largest group of unauthorized immigrants, accounting for 58% of the total.

  • The number of unauthorized immigrants decreased from 2007 to 2010 in Colorado, Florida, New York and Virginia. The combined population in three contiguous Mountain West states-Arizona, Nevada and Utah-also declined.
  • In contrast to the national trend, the combined unauthorized immigrant population in three contiguous West South Central states-Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas-grew from 2007 to 2010.
  • Although the number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. is below 2007 levels, it has tripled since 1990, when it was 3.5 million and grown by a third since 2000, when it was 8.4 million.

The estimates are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, augmented with the Pew Hispanic Center’s analysis of the demographic characteristics of the unauthorized immigrant population using a “residual estimation methodology.”

Although the estimates indicate trends in the size and composition of the unauthorized-immigrant population, they are not designed to answer the question of why these changes occurred. There are many possible factors. The deep recession that began in the U.S. economy officially ended in 2009, but recovery has been slow to take hold and unemployment remains high. Immigration flows have tended to decrease in previous periods of economic distress.

The period covered by this analysis also has been accompanied by changes in the level of immigration enforcement and in enforcement strategies, not only by the federal government but also at state and local levels. Immigration also is subject to pressure by demographic and economic conditions in sending countries. This analysis does not attempt to quantify the relative impact of these forces on levels of unauthorized immigration.

Other Resources

Kochhar, Rakesh, C. Soledad Espinoza and Rebecca Hinze-Pifer. “After the Great Recession: Foreign Born Gain Jobs; Native Born Lose Jobs,” Pew Hispanic Center, Washington, D.C. (October 29, 2010).

Passel, Jeffrey S. and D’Vera Cohn. “U.S. Unauthorized Immigration Flows Are Down Sharply Since Mid-Decade,” Pew Hispanic Center, Washington, D.C. (September 1, 2010).

Passel, Jeffrey S. and Paul Taylor. “Unauthorized Immigrants and Their U.S.-Born Children,” Pew Hispanic Center, Washington, D.C. (August 11, 2010).

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Let’s talk about Salvadorans

A total of 1.6 million Hispanics of Salvadoran origin resided in the United States in 2008, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Salvadorans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Salvadoran origin; this means either they themselves are Salvadoran immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to El Salvador. Salvadorans are the fourth-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 3.3% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2008. Mexicans constituted 30.7 million, or 65.7%, of the Hispanic population.

1 This statistical profile compares the demographic, income and economic characteristics of the Salvadoran population with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the 2008 American Community Survey. Key facts include:

Immigration status. Nearly two-thirds of Salvadorans (64.7%) in the United States are foreign born, compared with 38.1% of Hispanics and 12.5% of the U.S. population overall. Most immigrants from El Salvador (58.4%) arrived in the U.S. in 1990 or later. Three-in-ten of Salvadoran immigrants (29.2%) are U.S. citizens.

Language. Less than half of Salvadorans (44.2%) speak English proficiently.2 Some 55.8% of Salvadorans ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 37.3% of all Hispanics.

Age. Salvadorans are younger than the U.S. population and older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Salvadorans is 29; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 36 and 27, respectively.

1 Percentages are computed before numbers are rounded.

2 Salvadorans ages 5 and older who report speaking only English at home or speaking English very well.

Marital status. Less than half of Salvadorans (44.6%)and Hispanics overall (46.5%) are married.

Fertility. Four-in-ten (37.9%) of Salvadoran women ages 15 to 44 who gave birth in the 12 months prior to the survey were unmarried. That was similar to the rate for all Hispanic women—38.8%—but greater than the rate for U.S. women—34.5%.

Regional dispersion. Nearly four-in-ten Salvadorans (37.5%) live in California, and one-in-seven (14.3%) live in Texas.

Educational attainment. Salvadorans have lower levels of education than the Hispanic population overall. Fifty-three percent of Salvadorans ages 25 and older—compared with 39.2% of all U.S. Hispanics—have not obtained at least a high school diploma.

Income. The median annual personal earnings for Salvadorans ages 16 and older were $20,368 in 2008; the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics were $21,488.

Poverty status. The share of Salvadorans who live in poverty, 15.4%, is higher than the rate for the general U.S. population (12.7%) and below the 20.7% share among all Hispanics.

Health Insurance. Four-in-ten Salvadorans (38.9%) do not have health insurance compared with 31.7% of all Hispanics and 15.4% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 21.7% of Salvadorans younger than 18 are uninsured.

Homeownership. The rate of Salvadoran homeownership (46.0%) is lower than the rate for all Hispanics (49.1%) and the U.S. population (66.6%) as a whole.

Source: Pew Hispanic

Have you heard about Cubans?

A total of 1.6 million Hispanics of Cuban origin resided in the United States in 2008, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Cubans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Cuban origin; this means either they themselves are Cuban immigrants or they trace their family ancestry to Cuba. Cubans are the third-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 3.5% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2008. Mexicans constituted 30.7 million, or 65.7%, and Puerto Ricans 4.2 million, or 8.9%, of the Hispanic population.

1 This statistical profile compares the demographic, income and economic characteristics of the Cuban population with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the 2008 American Community Survey. Key facts include:

Immigration status. Six-in-ten Cubans (60.1%) in the United States are foreign born compared with 38.1% of Hispanics and 12.5% of the U.S. population overall. Most immigrants from Cuba (57.2%) arrived in the U.S. before 1990. Most Cuban immigrants (58.2%) are U.S. citizens.

Language. A majority of Cubans (58.3%) speak English proficiently.

2 Some 41.7% of Cubans ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 37.3% of all Hispanics.

Age. Cubans are older than the U.S. population and Hispanics overall. The median age of Cubans is 41; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 36 and 27, respectively.

Marital status. Cubans are more likely than Hispanics overall to be married—49.1% versus 46.5%.

1 Percentages are computed before numbers are rounded.

2 Cubans ages 5 and older who report speaking only English at home or speaking English very well.

Fertility. One-quarter (26.1%) of Cuban women ages 15 to 44 who gave birth in the 12 months prior to the survey were unmarried. That was less than the rate for all Hispanic women—38.8%—and the rate for U.S. women—34.5%.

Regional dispersion. Cubans are the most geographically concentrated Hispanic origin group. Nearly seven-in-ten (68.5%) live in Florida.

Educational attainment. Cubans have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall. Twenty-five percent of Cubans ages 25 and older—compared with 12.9% of all U.S. Hispanics—have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.

Income. The median annual personal earnings for Cubans ages 16 and older were $26,478 in 2008; the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics were $21,488.

Poverty status. The share of Cubans who live in poverty, 13.2%, is similar to that of the general U.S. population (12.7%) and below the 20.7% share among all Hispanics.

Health Insurance. Nearly one-quarter of Cubans (22.7%) do not have health insurance compared with 31.7% of all Hispanics and 15.4% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 14.5% of Cubans younger than 18 are uninsured.

Homeownership. The rate of Cuban homeownership (59.7%) is higher than the rate for all Hispanics (49.1%) but lower than the 66.6% rate for the U.S. population as a whole.

Source: Pew Hispanic

What are Puerto Ricans like?

A total of 4.2 million Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin resided in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia in 2008, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. That is a slightly greater number than the population of Puerto Rico itself in 2008, which was 4.0 million. Puerto Ricans in this statistical profile are people who self-identified as Hispanics of Puerto Rican origin; this means either they themselves were born in Puerto Rico or they trace their family ancestry to Puerto Rico. This statistical profile focuses on the characteristics of Puerto Ricans residing in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, henceforth the United States.

1 Puerto Ricans are the second-largest population of Hispanic origin living in the United States, accounting for 8.9% of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2008. Mexicans constituted 30.7 million, or 65.7%, of the Hispanic population.

2 This profile compares the demographic, income and economic characteristics of Puerto Ricans with the characteristics of all Hispanics and the U.S. population overall. It is based on Pew Hispanic Center tabulations of the 2008 American Community Survey. Key facts include:

Immigration status. Most Puerto Ricans in the United States—2.8 million in all—were born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Additionally, one-third of the Puerto Rican population in the U.S.—1.3 million—was born in Puerto Rico. People born in Puerto Rico are also considered native born because they are U.S. citizens by birth. A small number of people of Puerto Rican origin—46,000—were born outside of the U.S. or Puerto Rico and were not U.S. citizens by birth. They are considered foreign born.

Language. Eight-in-ten Puerto Ricans (80.5%) speak English proficiently.

3 Some 19.5% of Puerto Ricans ages 5 and older report speaking English less than very well, compared with 37.3% of all Hispanics.

1 Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, but all references to the United States in this profile refer to the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

2 Percentages are computed before numbers are rounded.

3 Puerto Ricans ages 5 and older who report speaking only English at home or speaking English very well.

Age. Puerto Ricans are younger than the U.S. population and older than Hispanics overall. The median age of Puerto Ricans is29; the median ages of the U.S. population and all Hispanics are 36 and 27, respectively.

Marital status. Puerto Ricans are less likely than Hispanics overall to be married—37.3% versus 46.5%.

Fertility. Nearly six-in-ten (57.1%) of Puerto Rican women ages 15 to 44 who gave birth in the 12 months prior to the survey were unmarried. That was greater than the rate for all Hispanic women—38.8%—and the rate for U.S. women—34.5%.

Regional dispersion. A majority of Puerto Ricans (55.4%) live in the Northeast, mostly in the New York (26.0%). Nearly three-in-ten (27.9%) Puerto Ricans live in the South, mostly in Florida (17.9%).

Educational attainment. Puerto Ricans have higher levels of education than the Hispanic population overall. Twenty-seven percent of Puerto Ricans ages 25 and older—compared with 39.2% of all U.S. Hispanics—have not obtained at least a high school diploma.

Income. The median annual personal earnings for Puerto Ricans ages 16 and older were $26,478 in 2008; the median earnings for all U.S. Hispanics were $21,488.

Poverty status. The share of Puerto Ricans who live in poverty, 22.6%, is higher than the rate for the general U.S. population (12.7%) and similar to the 20.7% share among all Hispanics.

Health Insurance. Nearly one-in-six Puerto Ricans (15.6%) do not have health insurance compared with 31.7% of all Hispanics and 15.4% of the general U.S. population. Additionally, 8.1% of Puerto Ricans younger than 18 are uninsured.

Homeownership. The rate of Puerto Rican homeownership (40.3%) is lower than the rate for all Hispanics (49.1%) and the U.S. population (66.6%) as a whole.

Source: Pew Hispanic

How Young Latinos Come of Age in America

Hispanics are the largest and youngest minority group in the United States. One- in-five schoolchildren is Hispanic. One-in-four newborns is Hispanic. Never before in this country’s history has a minority ethnic group made up so large a share of the youngest Americans. By force of numbers alone, the kinds of adults these young Latinos become will help shape the kind of society America becomes in the 21st century.

This report takes an in-depth look at Hispanics who are ages 16 to 25, a phase of life when young people make choices that — for better and worse — set their path to adulthood. For this particular ethnic group, it is also a time when they navigate the intricate, often porous borders between the two cultures they inhabit — American and Latin American.

The report explores the attitudes, values, social behaviors, family characteristics, economic well-being, educational attainment and labor force outcomes of these young Latinos. It is based on a new Pew Hispanic Center telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,012 Latinos, supplemented by the Pew Hispanic Center’s analysis of government demographic, economic, education and health data sets.

The data paint a mixed picture. Young Latinos are satisfied with their lives, optimistic about their futures and place a high value on education, hard work and career success. Yet they are much more likely than other American youths to drop out of school and to become teenage parents. They are more likely than white and Asian youths to live in poverty. And they have high levels of exposure to gangs.

These are attitudes and behaviors that, through history, have often been associated with the immigrant experience. But most Latino youths are not immigrantsTwo-thirds were born in the United States, many of them descendants of the big, ongoing wave of Latin American immigrants who began coming to this country around 1965.

As might be expected, they do better than their foreign-born counterparts on many key economic, social and acculturation indicators analyzed in this report. They are much more proficient in English and are less likely to drop out of high school, live in poverty or become a teen parent.

But on a number of other measures, U.S.-born Latino youths do no better than the foreign born. And on some fronts, they do worse.

For example, native-born Latino youths are about twice as likely as the foreign born to have ties to a gang or to have gotten into a fight or carried a weapon in the past year. They are also more likely to be in prison.

The picture becomes even more murky when comparisons are made among youths who are first generation (immigrants themselves), second generation (U.S.-born children of immigrants) and third and higher generation (U.S.-born grandchildren or more far-removed descendants of immigrants).1

For example, teen parenthood rates and high school drop-out rates are much lower among the second generation than the first, but they appear higher among the third generation than the second. The same is true for poverty rates.

Identity and Assimilation

Throughout this nation’s history, immigrant assimilation has always meant something more than the sum of the sorts of economic and social measures outlined above. It also has a psychological dimension. Over the course of several generations, the immigrant family typically loosens its sense of identity from the old country and binds it to the new.

It is too soon to tell if this process will play out for today’s Hispanic immigrants and their offspring in the same way it did for the European immigrants of the 19th and early 20th centuries. But whatever the ultimate trajectory, it is clear that many of today’s Latino youths, be they first or second generation, are straddling two worlds as they adapt to the new homeland.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center’s National Survey of Latinos, more than half (52%) of Latinos ages 16 to 25 identify themselves first by their family’s country of origin, be it Mexico, Cuba, the Dominican Republican, El Salvador or any of more than a dozen other Spanish-speaking countries. An additional 20% generally use the terms “Hispanic” or “Latino” first when describing themselves. Only about one-in-four (24%) generally use the term “American” first.

Among the U.S.-born children of immigrants, “American” is somewhat more commonly used as a primary term of self-identification. Even so, just 33% of these young second generation Latinos use American first, while 21% refer to themselves first by the terms Hispanic or Latino, and the plurality — 41% — refer to themselves first by the country their parents left in order to settle and raise their children in this country.

Only in the third and higher generations do a majority of Hispanic youths (50%) use “American” as their first term of self-description.

Immigration in Historical Perspective

Measured in raw numbers, the modern Latin American-dominated immigration wave is by far the largest in U.S. history. Nearly 40 million immigrants have come to the United States since 1965. About half are from Latin America, a quarter from Asia and the remainder from Europe, Canada, the Middle East and Africa. By contrast, about 14 million immigrants came during the big Northern and Western European immigration wave of the 19th century and about 18 million came during the big Southern and Eastern European-dominated immigration wave of the early 20th century.2

However, the population of the United States was much smaller during those earlier waves. When measured against the size of the U.S. population during the period when the immigration occurred, the modern wave’s average annual rate of 4.6 new immigrants per 1,000 population falls well below the 7.7 annual rate that prevailed in the mid- to late 19th century and the 8.8 rate at the beginning of the 20th century.

All immigration waves produce backlashes of one kind or another, and the latest one is no exception. Illegal immigration, in particular, has become a highly-charged political issue in recent times. It is also a relatively new phenomenon; past immigration waves did not generate large numbers of illegal immigrants because the U.S. imposed fewer restrictions on immigration flow in the past than it does now.

The current wave may differ from earlier waves in other ways as well. More than a few immigration scholars have voiced skepticism that the children and grandchildren of today’s Hispanic immigrants will enjoy the same upward mobility experienced by the offspring of European immigrants in previous centuries.3

Their reasons vary, and not all are consistent with one another. Some scholars point to structural changes in modern economies that make it more difficult for unskilled laborers to climb into the middle class. Some say the illegal status of so many of today’s immigrants is a major obstacle to their upward mobility. Some say the close proximity of today’s sending countries and the relative ease of modern global communication reduce the felt need of immigrants and their families to acculturate to their new country. Some say the fatalism of Latin American cultures is a poor fit in a society built on Anglo-Saxon values. Some say that America’s growing tolerance for cultural diversity may encourage modern immigrants and their offspring to retain ethnic identities that were seen by yesterday’s immigrants as a handicap. (The melting pot is dead. Long live the salad bowl.) Alternatively, some say that Latinos’ brown skin makes assimilation difficult in a country where white remains the racial norm.

It will probably take at least another generation’s worth of new facts on the ground to know whether these theories have merit. But it is not too soon to take some snapshots and lay down some markers. This report does so by assembling a wide range of empirical evidence (some generated by our own new survey; some by our analysis of government data) and subjecting it to a series of comparisons: between Latinos and non-Latinos; between young Latinos and older Latinos; between foreign-born Latinos and native-born Latinos; and between first, second, and third and higher generations of Latinos.

The generational analyses presented here do not compare the outcomes of individual Latino immigrants with those of their own children or grandchildren. Instead, our generational analysis compares today’s young Latino immigrants with today’s children and grandchildren of yesterday’s immigrants. As such, the report can provide some insights into the intergenerational mobility of an immigrant group over time. But it cannot fully disentangle the many factors that may help explain the observed patterns-be they compositional effects (the different skills, education levels and other forms of human capital that different cohorts of immigrants bring) or period effects (the different economic conditions that confront immigrants in different time periods).

Readers should be especially careful when interpreting findings about the third and higher generation, for this is a very diverse group. We estimate that about 40% are the grandchildren of Latin American immigrants, while the remainder can trace their roots in this country much farther back in time.

For some in this mixed group, endemic poverty and its attendant social ills have been a part of their families, barrios and colonias for generations, even centuries. Meantime, others in the third and higher generation have been upwardly mobile in ways consistent with the generational trajectories of European immigrant groups. Because the data we use in this report do not allow us to separate out the different demographic sub-groups within the third and higher generation, the overall numbers we present are averages that often mask large variances within this generation.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

HISPANIC OR LATINO?

 

HISPANIC OR LATINO?

Most young Hispanics — 51 percent — don’t care which term is used to describe them, a survey by the Pew Hispanic Center found. Another 35 percent prefer to be called Hispanic, while 14 percent prefer to be identified as Latino.

Latinos Online, 2006-2008: Narrowing the Gap

From 2006 to 2008, internet use among Latino adults rose by 10 percentage points, from 54% to 64%.  In comparison, the rates for whites rose four percentage points, and the rates for blacks rose only two percentage points during that time period.  Though Latinos continue to lag behind whites, the gap in internet use has shrunk considerably.

For Latinos, the increase in internet use has been fueled in large part by increases in internet use among groups that have typically had very low rates of internet use.  In particular, foreign-born Latinos, Latinos with less than a high school education, and Latinos with household incomes of less than $30,000 experienced particularly large increases in internet use.

Whereas Latinos gained markedly in overall internet use, the pattern of home internet access changed very little.  In 2006, 79% of Latinos online that had internet access at home, while in 2008, this number was 81%.  White and black internet users show a similar leveling off.  In 2006, 92% of white internet users had a home connection, compared with 94% in 2008. In 2006, 84% of African American internet users had a home connection, compared with 87% in 2008.

While there was little increase in the likelihood of having a home connection among internet users from 2006 to 2008, rates of broadband connection increased dramatically for Hispanics, as well as for whites and blacks.  In 2006, 63% of Hispanics with home internet access had a broadband connection; in 2008 this number was 76%.  For whites, there was a 17 percentage point increase in broadband connection from 65% to 82%, and for blacks, the increase was from 63% in 2006 to 78% in 2008.

These results are derived from a compilation of eight landline telephone surveys conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Internet & American Life Project from February to October 2006, and from August to December 2008.  In total, the Pew Hispanic Center surveys included 7,554 adults, and the Pew Internet & American Life Project surveys interviewed 13,687 adults.

Source: Gretchen Livingston, Senior Researcher, Pew Hispanic Center
Kim Parker, Senior Researcher, Pew Social & Demographic Trends Project
Susannah Fox, Associate Director, Pew Internet & American Life Project

Attorney: Why are Hispanics ‘last in, first out’ of jobs?

The Hispanic population in the United States has been growing substantially in recent years, providing businesses with burgeoning workforces.  The Census Bureau expects that by 2015, 17% of the American population will be of Hispanic origin. Demographically, no group of Americans is growing faster than Hispanics. Hispanics are now 8% of the workforce and by 2050, that number is expected to reach 25% of the workforce.

The sooner the debate begins to expose some of the major problems Hispanics face, the better. Hispanic immigrants, both documented and undocumented, are bearing the brunt of the new unemployment number spike. This unemployment spike is statistically significant for Hispanics, and not just the impact of recessionary unemployment among undocumented Hispanics, but among all Hispanics.

Specifically, unemployment rates for Hispanics and whites from 1976-2008 show that the unemployment gap between Hispanics and whites is stubborn, large, persistent, and is not solely related to their documentation or legal status to work in the United States.

Many places across the United States have been profoundly affected by the arrival of Hispanic immigrants – most notably the South – where documented and undocumented workers took jobs in construction and factories. While the economic troubles are widening the gap between illegal immigrants and Americans, studies show that this phenomenon occurs for all Hispanic workers, not just illegal immigrants.

According  to studies conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center and U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic unemployment rates for the past 32 years, show a mean unemployment rate of 8.9% while the unemployment rate for whites is only 5.4%, and during this period the rates for Hispanics is always higher than for whites.

Hispanic and white unemployment rates move up and down together, with higher rates corresponding to periods of economic downturns, like the one we’re in now, and lower rates to periods of economic growth and prosperity. The unemployment rate for Hispanics is noticeably more volatile than the rate for whites.  Evidence shows that Hispanics become unemployed sooner in economic downturns that whites, experience longer periods of unemployment, that is, leave the ranks of the employed at slower rates than whites, and generally face a “riskier” labor market than whites.

Policy makers need to pay more attention to the fact that it will likely take 30 years for the Hispanic unemployment rate to equal the white unemployment rate. The slow trend and high degree of persistence suggest that closing the gap will not necessarily occur by itself (i.e. by market forces), at least not any time soon.

Politicians will need to address the forces that are causing the unemployment among this group through policy actions. Measures such as focusing on job training in industries and occupations that are traditionally less sensitive to the business cycle (e.g. education, health care, government and public service, to name a few) would be a good place to start.

Another opportunity for policy makers to close the gap, would be to focus on providing better educational opportunities for Hispanics as they are significantly underrepresented in managerial and professional occupations. Since unemployment can be subject to “last-in, first-out,” educating Hispanics on the importance of job tenure could also help close the Hispanic – white unemployment gap sooner than the 30 years market forces will take.

Quote of the Day

you only live once

you only live once

Source: Orlando Sentinel – By Angel Reyes
Angel Reyes is an attorney, Hispanic immigration expert and author of Hispanic Heresy: What is the Impact of America’s Largest Group of Immigrants? (Mead Publishing, January 2009) He is the founder and managing partner of Heygood, Orr, Reyes, Pearson & Bartolomei law firm in Dallas, Texas. He also blogs at http://www.angelreyesblog.com.