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