For anyone living in the Hispanic community, it comes as no surprise that the folks that make up this group are very hard workers. In many ways, the bedrock of much of the United States workforce is found among the Latinos who do everything from basic services and manufacturing to C-Suite management. This will come as no surprise to those who understand the history of the community. Many families from Central and South America were drawn to this land of opportunity by a desire to find their chance to build a better life for themselves and their families by following the American Dream.
What may be less obvious are the facts surrounding the Hispanic American Job Statistics in the workforce. Whether it’s the challenges being faced or celebrating the gains painstakingly made over generations, the community isn’t always connected to its own state within the labor market. Some of these data points may be well known, while others may come as a surprise. For a segment of society that takes great pride in the virtues of personal growth through education and employment, it’s important to take stock of where things stand — and where they might be headed.
What follows is a collection of data points that illuminate the current state of Hispanic workers in the American labor market. Some may see some of these facts and figures as either discouraging or inspiring. In either case, the point is neither to put a damper on one’s aspirations nor to paint a rosy and unrealistic picture. All information is a form of empowerment. It’s up to each one of us to take these numbers and put ourselves in the right perspectives to help get us closer to achieving our own goals.
Knowledge is power – and it is time to power up!
Here are 21 Hispanic American Job Statistics:
1. $500 Billion Annual Revenue By Latino-Owned Businesses
According to a study by the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, almost 3 million Latino-owned businesses generated about half a trillion dollars of annual revenues in the United States. That’s a huge chunk of change when you consider that overall, the national GDP is around $20 trillion. And remember — that’s just talking about business owners; the Latino labor force brings in much more.
2. Younger Work Force
When you look at the average age of the American worker, you will find that there is a more robust representation of younger people in the Hispanic-American demographic. On average, Americans in the labor market are 42 years old. But for Latinos, that number is significantly more youthful, coming in at 38.5 years. This portends well for a coming generation’s financial foothold.
3. Unemployment Is the Lowest It’s Been in Decades
While it’s true that the Hispanic American workforce has often lagged behind the overall average in unemployment statistics, the fact is that Latino Unemployment in the United States is historically low. Estimates from 2022 show that only 4.3% of the community is unemployed. This is less than one percent above the 3.6% unemployment rate for the nation as a whole. But it’s a very encouraging sign that Latinos are enjoying the fruits of an expanding labor market.
4. High Numbers in Key Sectors
There are many labor sectors where Hispanic Americans find good-paying jobs requiring in-demand skills. Laborers lead the pack with over a million and a half Latino workers keeping a lot of the country running. Millions find themselves in professions such as carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, landscaping, and management. Earning in these essential functions isn’t just filling Latino bank accounts; it keeps the American economy humming.
5. Huge Growth
The Hispanic American slice of the national labor market pie has been growing over the decades. Back in 1990, about 8.5% of the labor force was Latino. By 2020, that percentage has swelled impressively. At last check, about 18% of all workers in the United States were Hispanic Americans. And by 2030, projections predict that number will hit over 21%.
6. Entrepreneurial Trends
With over 5 million small businesses owned and operated by Latinos, there’s a huge push underway in terms of the community’s entrepreneurship. According to the numbers, Hispanic Americans are almost twice as likely to start their own businesses as other demographic groups, making them powerful drivers of the economy.
7. Family Incomes on the Rise
Since about 1995, Latino family incomes have risen at an impressive rate. Back in 2019, that number hovered around $40,000. At its peak in 2019, a gain of about $20K was recorded, meaning Hispanic Americans were making around $60,000. While that number has slipped slightly since then, that’s in line with the overall economy, and another rise is soon expected.
8. Droves of New Workers
Current studies are seeing a surge of Hispanic Americans entering the United States workforce. Between now and 2030, it is projected that about 78% of new workers in the country will be Latino. This follows recent trends, proving how robust this demographic is within the workforce.
9. Accurate Reflection
The 2020 Census revealed a very interesting data point in the Hispanic community. In 2020, the overall population of the United States was 18.7% Latino, and that same demographic made up 17.4% of the nation’s labor force. This means that we are getting close to the workforce accurately reflecting the population.
10. Low Wage Jobs
While there are plenty of gains to be celebrated, there is still a long way to go in terms of salary. Hispanic Americans are still making less money on average than most workers from other demographics. However, there has been an increase of 5 percentage points since 2010, so there is reason to hope this statistic will get better.
11. Upward Mobility
In generational terms, Hispanic Americans are making earnings gains slowly but steadily. According to a study by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 30% of the real income growth in the nation has come from the Latino community. That’s a great trend that speaks well of the demographic’s economic future.
12. Serving America
There are high concentrations of Latinos in key sectors of the economy which everyone depends upon. Over 40% of workers in farming, fishing, and forestry are Hispanic American. Those are the people who keep us fed and maintain our environment. Similarly high numbers are found in construction and maintenance, keeping our critical infrastructure maintained.
13. Women’s Gains
Latina-owned businesses have helped lead the way when it comes to entrepreneurial trends in the Hispanic American community. Growing at a rate of around 40% since 2010, more and more Latinas are in charge of their own enterprises, generating revenue and employing others.
14. Job Creation
Latino-owned companies have been helping drive employment growth in the United States. As of 2019, estimates reveal that Hispanic American businesses generated 2.9 million jobs. That’s up by a million compared to 2007 numbers.
15. Labor Force Participation
Overall in the United States, there’s about a 62% labor force participation rate. But that number is significantly higher in the Latino population. Estimates show over 67% of the Hispanic American community is participating in the labor market. This speaks not only to encouraging gains but also to good old-fashioned hard work.
16. Annual Wealth Growth
While non-Hispanic workers are still earning more than those in the Latino community — a gap that stubbornly lingers — there is a silver lining. Between 2000 and 2020, Latino wealth has grown by around 7%. That’s twice as much as other populations, which means we may close that gap sooner than we think.
17. Persistent Wage Gap
Despite all of the good news, it’s important to keep in mind how far behind Latinos still are in terms of wages. For every dollar White Americans make, Hispanic Americans only earn 73 cents, according to a McKinsey report. So yes, there is more work to do.
18. Labor Force Contribution
If you’re looking for signs of opportunity in the Hispanic American job picture, see what has happened since the 2008 financial crisis. In the years since that scare, more than three-quarters of the growth in the labor force came from the Latino community. Those numbers speak to great future potential.
19. Revenue Shortfall
While we can celebrate the rise in Latino-owned businesses, there is still a shortfall in terms of overall revenue compared to White-owned businesses. And it’s a pretty big number. As much as $2.3 million more was garnered by White-owned businesses over Latino-owned businesses. Again, there is work to do.
20. Consumer Power
Another important statistic that points to Latino job prospects is the growing number of Hispanic American consumers within the United States. Domestic consumption in the demographic is growing at a steady pace of about 6% per year. More spending power influences workplace participation.
21. Underrepresented Occupations
There are many high-paying jobs where the Hispanic American labor market is underrepresented. Such categories, which fall far short of the 18% represented by the overall Hispanic American population, include science, writing, engineering, architecture, and medical fields. Making gains in those areas is a critical goal.