Important Facts about the LatinX Workforce

Censia Talent Intelligence Diversity Recruiting

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The workforce is shifting quickly, driven by various factors, including COVID-19 and changing population demographics. When looking at diversity in the workplace, companies should take time to evaluate the contributions of LatinX workers at all levels. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in 2020, the total percentage of Hispanic and Latino workers was 17.6%. Disproportionately, 47% of Hispanic and Latino workers were in agricultural positions, while only 10% worked in professional industries such as technology. 

But to truly represent the LatinX workforce, it’s essential to take a closer look at some of the surprising facts and how businesses can tap into top talent in the LatinX community moving forward. 

Fewer Women in Color in Leadership Roles

According to the Women in the Workplace Report created by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company, there are startling statistics about women in leadership roles, especially women of color. 18% of entry-level employees were women of color, including Latinas, while only 3% were represented in the C-Suite. 

This is a stark contrast to white men, who make up 35% of entry-level jobs but 66% of C-level positions. What we can’t easily extrapolate, due to the categories used, is how many of the 3% are of Hispanic descent. 

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Disproportionate Affect of COVID-19

It’s not a surprise that COVID-19 affected the workplace. What might be surprising is the disproportionate way in which the pandemic affected LatinX workers. Experts have been calling the crisis a “great equalizer,” but this isn’t true. Hispanic workers already had lower pre-pandemic wages, and many worked in jobs considered essential and were more exposed to the coronavirus. 

In March 2020, when the economy shut down, white workers faced just over 14% unemployment while LatinX unemployment rose to 18.9%. Hispanic women were the largest group affected at over 20% unemployment. 

LatinX Workforce Economic Output Numbers

However, despite the specific hardships of the pandemic, the LatinX population is poised for strong economic output numbers. In 2017, the GDP for LatinX in the U.S. was at $2.3 trillion. It reached $2.9% in 2018

Businesses should be looking at both LatinX consumers and potential employees. More representation within your workplace builds confidence and trust with the LatinX customer base. 

The LatinX Community Stepped Up to the Plate in 2020

Since the last labor crisis in 2008, the Hispanic/LatinX workforce has made up 82% of the labor growth. During the height of COVID-19 in 2020, almost half of the essential workers in the U.S. were immigrants.  

However, even though the LatinX community was disproportionately affected by COVID-19, they also stepped up to provide many essential services. The same report shows many displaced LatinX workers shifted to essential industries to make up for a loss of income.

$1.5 Trillion of Economic Buying Power

2020 started strong for the LatinX community in America. After a powerful performance by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira in the Super Bowl half-time show in February, it was expected that the buying power of the Hispanic communities in the U.S. would increase significantly. 

But even if the pandemic shifted the priorities of the LatinX community in America, they heavily influenced the 2020 election, and numbers are more accurately reflected in the U.S. Census. 

Latin America’s Recovery Post-COVID

Latin American and Caribbean countries are both poised for positive economic growth in the coming years. However, it’s important to note that this growth is not without cost. 

Countries in Latin America experienced a contraction in 2020, and while there will be a positive 3% growth in the coming year, it won’t reach levels where these countries were before the pandemic. There are areas where growth will be significant, especially in South America. 

1.6 Million Hispanic-Women Owned Businesses 

Women-owned businesses are on the rise. And that includes companies owned by Latinas throughout the United States. The big push in communities is to attract more businesses where ownership reflects both the population and the workforce. 

And these concepts can be applied to any business to hire more LatinX workers, women, and leaders from the community. 

Upskilling for LatinX Workers

According to a report by UCLA, 7.1 million LatinX workers are set to be replaced by automation. But these jobs aren’t going away; they’re simply transforming. That’s why employers need to focus on upskilling for Hispanic workers. 

Rather than simply replacing the workforce with automation, they need people who know how to use the technology, and the pool with industry knowledge is already right there. 

To know more about upskilling and how talent intelligence will help you recruit and retain top LatinX talent, contact Censia today. 

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About the author

Jennifer Thomé
By Jennifer Thomé
Jennifer is a content marketing specialist who loves breaking down complex topics, creating enticing content, and getting transformative knowledge into the right hands.