There are more than 62 million Hispanic Americans living in the Unites States and they serve an instrumental role in powering the U.S. economy. The total economic output of Hispanics is estimated to be well over $2 trillion, and growing rapidly.
Much of the growth in the economic output of Hispanic households is driven by the spending power and labor market engagement of Hispanic workers. Despite being hit hard by the pandemic and the ensuing economic contraction, Hispanic workers have been quick to lead the economic recovery by returning to work.
The relative youth and high growth rate of the Hispanic population means that they will remain integral to future economic growth. Hispanic Americans alone account for over half of all the population growth in the U.S. over the last 10 years. Hispanic Americans are also helping diversify the labor force—nearly a third of Hispanics identify as having more than one race, and their ethnic origins are just as diverse—enriching the United States’ cultural capital.
Despite these important contributions, Hispanic workers disproportionately earn lower wages, suffer from poor working conditions and experience a lower quality of life. Hispanic workers are underrepresented in high-paying occupations and overrepresented in low-paying ones, which are also disproportionately subjected to wage theft and hazardous working conditions. Hispanic women are directly affected by this occupational segregation, and they are disproportionally harmed by the gender wage gap. Many of these disparities can be explained by the fact that Hispanic workers have less bargaining power at work than other workers. This means that the work of Hispanic workers ends up being more precarious and often does not include basic protections and benefits, like health insurance or retirement accounts.