by Alex Gonzalez
Donald Trump claims that he has “created” more jobs for Hispanics than anybody else. However, new labor statistics underscores the dismal gains among Hispanics, and a new Pew Hispanic survey shows that U.S.-born Hispanics are lagging behind “whites’ in economic gains.
Unemployment among Hispanics in Jan 2017, when Trump took office, was 5.8%. The new jobs report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics show that unemployment among Hispanics is 4.7%. Since Trump took office, unemployment has dropped only by 1.1% among Hispanics – You can hover on the chart to see month-by month statistics. see chart below
Unemployment among Hispanics spiked from 4.7% in 2007 to 12% due to the Great Recession.
When Obama took office in Jan 2009, unemployment among Hispanics was 12%. When Obama was sworn in for his second term on January 2013, unemployment among Hispanics had dropped to 9.7%. When Obama left the White House on January 2017, unemployment among Hispanics was 5.8%. During Obama’s second term, Hispanics gained employment by almost 4%. Moreover, since 2011, there has been a steady unemployment decline among Hispanics that probably have nothing to do with Trump economic and more with the economy Trump inherited from Obama.
Similarly, a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data shows that overall gain for most Americans “masks a sharp contrast in the experiences of U.S.-born Latinos – whose incomes in 2017 were 6% less than in 2007 – and of foreign-born Latinos, whose incomes were 14% higher than in 2007.”
While the Pew survey shows gains among Hispanic immigrants who have lived in country for a long time, U.S.-born Latino workers – younger and less educated than U.S.-born workers overall – who experienced greater losses in the recession, despite recent gains, have not recovered.
The median personal income of Hispanic workers stood at $28,400 in 2007, at the cusp of the recession. By 2013, their median income had fallen to $26,400, a loss of 7%. A quick rebound followed this period of loss, and the median income of Hispanics rose to $30,000 by 2017 – a gain of 14% from 2013 to 2017, sufficient to make up for the recession-induced loss (incomes expressed in 2017 dollars).
For U.S.-born Hispanics, who account for 52% of the Hispanic workforce, their median personal income was $32,000 entering the recession in 2007, “reached a low of $28,800 in 2013, 10% less than in 2007. While incomes rebounded somewhat from 2013 to 2015 (reaching $31,000 in 2015), by 2017 they had dipped to $30,000 – 6% less than in 2007.”
The fact is that the incomes of U.S.-born Latinos remain below pre-recession levels because during the Great Recession they experienced greater financial losses in the economic downturn, according to Pew survey.
But financial loses is not the only pressing issues for Hispanics under the Trump administration. In a Pew Hispanic survey last November before the 2018 mid-term, about half say situation for U.S. Hispanics has worsened over the past year; majority worry that they or someone they know could be deported.
The Pew surveys argues that “many blame the current administration for what they see as the worsening situation of Hispanics.
Two-thirds (67%) say the administration’s policies have been harmful to Hispanics – a much higher share than during the administration of either Democrat Barack Obama (15% in 2010) or Republican George W. Bush (41% in 2007).2 Overall, six-in-ten Hispanics (62%) say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country today, up since 2017 and the highest level since the Great Recession a decade ago, when 70% of Hispanics said they were dissatisfied with the nation’s direction.
The survey notes that half of Hispanic adults (49%) are foreign born, and as a group they have stronger concern than those born in the U.S. Immigrants are more likely than U.S.-born Hispanics to say they have serious concerns about their place in U.S. society (57% vs. 42%), and they worry a lot or some about deportation (66% vs. 43%).
Two important facts from these Pew Hispanic surveys are if you are U.S.-born Latino, you are still lagging behind financially, and Latino immigrants now have stronger fear of deportations and “serious concerns about their place in society.”
As for discrimination against Hispanics, last week, the new Pew Research Center survey shows that 76% of US adults say there is “a lot” or “some” discrimination against Hispanics, up from 70% that said the same in 2016.
So whatever Trump may argue in campaign rallies, Hispanics are not better off under this administration.
Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst, Founder of Latino Public Policy Foundation (LPPF), and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or @