Despite being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 Latinos have stepped up for America during the pandemic and are poised to drive the nation's economic recovery
Study reveals Latinos' wellbeing and successful recovery from this pandemic have great implications for a strong American economy
27 May, 2021, 10:00 ET
LOS ANGELES, May 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, Latinos rebounded and stepped up for America during this pandemic and are poised to drive the nation's economic recovery according to a recent report, The Latino Community Stepping Up for the Community and How They Will Drive America's Recovery, commissioned by the Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC). Early data on unemployment rates since the pandemic indicate they will be the driving force of economic recovery.
"Latinos' wellbeing and successful recovery from this pandemic have great implications for a strong American economy," said Sol Trujillo, Chair, Latino Donor Collaborative. Latinos account for a substantial share of the working age population. Paired with higher productivity rates and younger ages, they are the driver of future workforce growth and their outcomes will determine the success of the future American workforce. Their wellbeing and success are important not just for Latinos, but for all Americans."
The report also found that Latino workers were vital to the core functions of society during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their contributions are particularly significant in industries like agriculture, food processing, commercial cleaning services, health care, and construction. And not only in states where Latinos account for higher shares of the population (California, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Texas, etc.), but in what we call 'driver states', which are states where Latinos now amount for 10-20% of the workforce, of the voters, and of the GDP production. Such 'driver states" are Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, West Virginia, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Ohio, Maryland, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Louisiana.
The pandemic created a special job class – frontline essential workers who had to carry out their job functions to keep essential services online. Many of those essential worker positions were filled with Latinos who had to work to support their families.
Essential workers were most vulnerable to health risks, and many of these workers earned lower wages and were less likely to have health insurance than non-essential office workers.
Throughout the pandemic, Latinos have served on the frontlines as essential workers—from the fields in the Central Valley to the corridors of our hospitals in Los Angeles and they have stepped up for all Americans. In fact, two in three undocumented workers who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Number (ITIN) work in an industry deemed essential.
Early on Latinos were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic
From the onset of the pandemic, Latinos were most negatively impacted by the pandemic. In fact:
- Latinos were three times as likely as whites to become infected with COVID-19 and nearly twice as likely to die from it.
- The high number of Latinos employed as essential workers and the strong employment rebound, along with other socio-economic characteristics, contribute to the high rate of COVID-19 infection and significant death toll among Latinos.
- Latino essential workers were more than three times as likely than non-Latino essential workers to be uninsured (25% versus 8%) — a fact that is especially devastating during the pandemic, when aggressive testing, early quarantining, and rigorous contact tracing is essential in containing COVID-19.
- Latino essential workers had to confront limited ability to work from home, workplace overcrowding, inadequate workplace protections, reliance on public transportation to get to work, lack of paid sick leave, and crowded living conditions
- Latino-owned businesses had less cash on hand during the pandemic, and when applying for funds from the Payroll Protection Program, Latinos had their loan applications approved at half the rate of white business owners.
- Latinas suffered the biggest loss of jobs compared to any other cohort during the pandemic, with a decrease in employment of 24%. But, according to The New York Times, as of last month that 24% has been reduced to 7.5%.vi
The pandemic had a severe impact on the nation's economy as businesses were shuttered, workers were laid off and commerce ground to a halt. Despite the economic and emotional hit, Latinos stepped up for America and saved the day. Nearly one year into the pandemic, Latino employment, especially that of immigrant Latino males, improved significantly. Their strong work ethic, commitment to family and their lack of access to unemployment and other government help compelled them to find other ways to support their families.
They continued to look for ways to work and provide for their families and contribute to the country, and statistics show that the level of Latino employment recovered at a remarkable rate. Latinos who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 shifted to essential industries to make up for income loss. They also found new jobs and created new businesses to the point that, as of March 2021, Hispanic males had the highest share of the working-age population who are employed in the United States. Unemployment for all Latinos decreased from 18.5 percent in April 2020 to 8.5 percent in October 2020, compared to 14.4 percent to 6.6 percent among all workers.
Early data on unemployment rates since the pandemic indicates Latinos will be the driving force of the nation's economic recovery. Case studies of Latino entrepreneurs also demonstrate the flexibility to pivot and innovate faced with unprecedented challenges, a deep commitment to their community, and optimism about the future despite having fewer resources at hand and receiving fewer government-backed loans.
"Society needs to recognize the remarkable work ethic and sacrifice of Latinos during these difficult times, as well as ensure equal access to government programs supporting workers and business owners and continue to invest in health care access in the Latino community.," said Ana Valdez, Executive Vice President, Latino Donor Collaborative. "And anyone interested in restoring the United States' Gross Domestic Product growth rate to healthy levels should care deeply about the well-being and invest in the fastest-growing segment of the nation's GDP: the U.S. Latino Gross Domestic Product. Afterall. our nation's future is intertwined with the health and welfare of this community and an investment in Latinos will pay major dividends in our full economic rebound and recovery".
A copy of The Latino Community Stepping Up for the Community and How They will Drive America's Recovery can be downloaded at:
About the Latino Donor Collaborative
The Latino Donor Collaborative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to reshaping the perception of Latinos as part of the American social mainstream. We are self-funded and independent, and created by an accomplished group of Latino national leaders that generously donate their time to promote friendly high-level dialogue, with the goal of finding best ways to grow revenue and market share – by targeting and serving the Latino audiences.
We do this through a nonpartisan agenda that includes outreach to influential people in media, advertising, politics, corporate America, and civil society by confronting stereotypes with data that brings understanding and appreciation of the actual roles being played by Latinos in society, politics, and commerce. The board is passionate about empowering every Latino to be the best they can be, and know that by empowering Latinos, they create a rich, united, and more powerful United States of America.
SOURCE Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC)
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