Latino Families Worse Off

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

According to a report by Pew Research, Latino families are economically worse off now compared to 20 years ago. How can this be?! More Latinos are not only going to college but are graduating than ever before. More Latinos are in the workforce compared to 20 years ago—in a fact a 137 percent increase compared to 20 years ago. So why are Latino families earning less than they did? There are two main reasons. First, the Great Recession hit Latinos, along with African Americans, more than non-Hispanic whites. When the house financing crisis broke, more Latinos than just about any other group found themselves dispossessed of their homes and therefore at a greater economic loss than non-Hispanic whites. Another major problem is that even though there are more Latinos who are graduating college, the job situation has in so many ways worsened for Latinos.

This comes as no surprise because good paying jobs are in fact shrinking. This means more competition for not only good paying jobs but jobs at all. And sadly, Latinos and African Americans are getting the short end of the stick. But this should come as no horrible shock (although it is a horrible shock if you are a Latino looking for work in a tight labor market) since the after-effects of the Great Recession are far from over. There is of course still a lot of finger-pointing and blame for the Great Recession, and at current U.S. President Barack Obama for not alleviating the conditions due to the Great Recession. Obama cannot be held responsible for something that happened before he became president. The conclusion reached by the Pew Research is that Latinos should seek higher education in greater numbers. This way they will not only become a better educated workforce, but that this and the after-shocks of the Great Recession will eventually be overcome. It is of course easier said than done, but with Latinos becoming an increasingly larger part of the American workforce it is necessary that their incomes need to rise, and not fall. What is at stake here is not just the welfare of Latino families but the welfare of the United States and the American economy.

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