The National Employment Law Project released a report outlining what types of jobs (by wage) were lost during the Great Recession. According to the report, most of the jobs coming back during this slow recovery have been concentrated in the low wage category. Mid to higher wage jobs have not returned as quickly.
Excelencia in Education is on the road examining Latino college completion around different states. They’ve completed three information sheets to date along with specific strategies to address the gap. You can check it out here.
My father was a union member for most his career in the steel industry. He literally helped form many of the huge steel frames that created the L.A. freeway system. A couple members of my family are union professionals so this article by Latino Decisions resonates with me personally. It’s a great write up on Latinos and labor union participation over the last few decades. Latinos, who are disproportionately represented in low wage jobs, have much to lose in the on-going union busting battles occurring across the United States, including in my new backyard of Wisconsin. The issue has far reaching implications for the Latino workforce:
Multi-generation Latinos have a lot at stake in the current battle to curtail the power of public sector unions. Latinos disproportionately represent low-wage jobs and have relied heavily on the efforts of unions to negotiate fair wages and benefits. If the power of unions is severely curtailed, many Latinos may be left without this protection. This vulnerability for Latinos is confounded by the fact that they are one of the least likely groups to obtain a higher education (U.S. Dept. of Education 2010). Unions play an even greater role in diminishing wage inequalities for workers without college degrees (Agbede 2011).
You’re probably not familiar with the name of the town above. I wasn’t. It’s a town located Northeast of Madison. I didn’t know this town existed until I read a special report by a local newspaper on the city’s increasing Latino population. While the trend is a familiar one around the country, it’s the first article, or series of articles, that takes an in-depth look at how this growing population is impacting a small community.
CNN-Money shares a simple but telling graphic regarding the increase cost of a college education and median income. According to the article “…if incomes had kept up with surging college costs, the typical American would be earning $77,000 a year. But in reality, it’s nowhere near that.”
This is particularly disheartening for low-income students – they’re literally getting priced out of college. I understand the rising costs are caused by numerous factors including budget cuts, infrastructure, salaries, etc. However, for whatever the reasons, the fewer people have access to higher education the more our workforce will suffer.
Field of study obviously impacts long-term earnings of college graduates with science and technology majors earning more than social science and humanities majors. Another key finding is not a surprise: women’s wages are lower than those of men. The same can be said of other minorities including Latinos:
Hispanics earn the most with a major in Mechanical Engineering ($70,000 median). However, the median for Hispanics is$13,000 less than the median for Whites with the same major.
Hispanics earn the least in Theology and Religious Vocation majors with median earnings of $30,000, which is less than the White and African-American medians in this field.
For most people considering law school, this question is hardly an easy one. Law schools, however, make it much harder than it needs to be by publishing misleading data about their employment statistics. Many law schools all but explicitly promise that, within a few months of graduation, practically all their graduates will obtain jobs as lawyers, by trumpeting employment figures of 95 percent, 97 percent, and even 99.8 percent. The truth is that less than half will.
Latinos today are the fastest growing group in the nation. From 1970 to 2008 the Latino population grew by 417% compared to 49.6% for the general population. With a median age of 27.4 years Latinos are also the youngest in our population. 15 states account for 86.5% of the total Latino population. In 2010, over one-third of the total Latino population was under the age of 18. There are 22.4 million Latinos in the labor force (including employed and unemployed workers). By 2050, Latinos will constitute nearly 30% of the total US population and one third of all working-age Americans. As people age, Latinos are providing an important source of renewal for communities in decline.