It is a commonplace claim that the education level of the Latino immigrant population is continually falling behind that of the U.S.-born population. However, the Pew Hispanic Center finds that the educational profile of the adult population of foreign-born Latinos has improved significantly during the past three decades. These gains, however, have not yet produced a notable convergence with the level of education in the native-born U.S. population. During the period 1970 to 2000 the native-born population also experienced improvements of education that outpaced the progress among Latino immigrants. Nonetheless, the trends identified in this report suggest that the gap between immigrants and natives will narrow in the future.
B. Lindsey Lowell
There are more than 5 million unauthorized workers in the U.S. economy. This study estimates that these workers have become a very substantial presence in the sectors where they are concentrated. More than a million undocumented persons are employed in manufacturing and a similar number in the service industries. More than 600,000 work in construction and more than 700,000 in restaurants.
The long-term effects of the recession will likely depress employment and incomes in Hispanic communities at least through the end of 2004, and judging from historical experience that time span will be longer than for any other major population group. Even if predictions of a turnaround later this summer prove valid, pocketbook issues will vex Latinos for several years after the national economy recovers. Second-generation Latinos–U.S.-born children of an immigrant parent– are now experiencing high job losses. In recent recessions Hispanic unemployment has fallen hardest on low-skilled immigrants. This time, young people who are the products of U.S. schools are experiencing the highest unemployment rates among Latinos. Many work in skilled occupations, including managers, technicians and professionals, and many are in the early years of household formation. Prolonged joblessness could prove a historic setback for them, their communities and the nation.