Latino Labor Report, 2003: Strong but Uneven Gains in Employment

  • February 23, 2004
  • By Rakesh Kochhar

Latinos experienced substantial gains in the U.S. labor market in 2003. The number of Hispanics added to the employment rolls was twice as high as in 2002, and unemployment eased downward. For the first time since January 2000, Latinos experienced increases in employment that consistently outpaced their population growth in the United States. The increase in the number of Latinos employed over the course of the year was nearly double the mark for non-Latinos, suggesting that Latinos took a disproportionate share of new job opportunities.

But, not all Hispanics benefited from these trends. Immigrant males, especially the most recently arrived, and those in the construction industry, showed by far the greatest increase in employment. Hispanic women and native-born Latinos, particularly those of the rapidly growing second generation, did not do nearly as well.