A majority of Latinos believe that the economic downturn that began in 2007 has been harder on them than on any other ethnic group in America.
The poverty rate for Hispanics was 28.2% in 2010, higher than it was for blacks, non-Hispanic whites or Asians, and higher than the official poverty rate for Hispanics, 26.7%, reported by the Census Bureau.
Median household wealth among Hispanics fell from $18,359 in 2005 to $6,235 in 2009—a 66% decline. This was larger than the decrease for black households (53%) and white households (16%), according to an analysis of newly-available Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends project.
Almost one-in-ten (9%) Latino homeowners say they missed a mortgage payment or were unable to make a full payment and 3% say they received a foreclosure notice in the past year.
Latinos have distinct demographic and economic characteristics that give them a unique stake in the debate over the future of Social Security.
Hispanic households have less than ten cents for every dollar in wealth owned by White households.
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.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the potential impact of the current economic downturn on Hispanic workers and families, and analyze how prepared Hispanics are for the economic recession. The paper is divided into four sections: The first section briefly explores the progress made by Hispanics during the economic boom of the 1990s. The second section uses the experience of Hispanics in past economic downturns to predict how they will fare in the current economic slowdown. The third section analyzes how well prepared Hispanic workers are for the economic slowdown. The final section draws conclusions based on the first three sections.