Latinos See Significant Job Growth
The United States economy is finally on the road to recovery, with new jobs being created and fewer people feeling the burden of unemployment. Even construction, the slowest industry to recover, is on the rise. With such good news, it is easy for people to be optimistic about the future of the country.
The people with the most reason to be optimistic are Latino and Hispanic residents, whose job growth is not only increasing faster than other groups, but has returned to its pre-recession average. Because Hispanics and African-Americans were affected the most by the recession, the surge of Hispanic job growth is a good sign that the economy is recovering well.
Part of the job growth can be attributed to the growth in the construction industry, which, along with retail, home care, and restaurants, sees a majority of Latino workers. While the flooring industry alone increased 1.1% annually between 2009 and 2014, in the year between January 2014 and January 2015, 43 states and the District of Columbia saw an increase in construction jobs. The largest construction employment percentage increase was 13.4% in North Dakota. Only seven states saw a decrease in construction jobs, and the biggest difference was seen in Mississippi, where 12.7% of jobs were lost.
While the increase in Latino and Hispanic employment is a good sign, it is important to consider the quality of the jobs available. Latinos are more likely than other groups to earn poverty-level wages, and construction jobs are not always the safest. Increasing safety regulations to protect workers, as well as paying a fair wage, will build the economy up for everyone, not just construction workers.
Making the necessary policy changes to protect workers in dangerous fields will only increase the amount of jobs available in that industry, and by raising the employees’ wages, the economy will be further stimulated when they go out and spend those wages.