Latin Equal Pay Day: The wages of Latino workers are still severely low, including first-line occupations
October 21st is equal pay day for Latinos. Last year, a typical Latino worker who worked full-time throughout the year earned only 57 cents for every dollar made by a white non-Hispanic male. This means that, on average, Latinos must work nearly 22 months to earn 12 months of income for white non-Hispanic men.
The infographic below, based on our data, takes a closer look at the average hourly wages of Latin American and non-Hispanic white men who are engaged in major occupations at the center of the country’s efforts to respond to COVID-19 Previous analysis Current census data from 2014 to 2019. These occupations include front-line workers in basic businesses such as health care and grocery stores, those who bear the brunt of unemployment in the catering industry, as well as teachers and childcare workers. We found that Latino workers earn 6% to 32% less than non-Hispanic white men in these occupations.
Not only did Latino workers lose income, but they also face higher unemployment rates. Economic recession caused by the pandemic Due to its high concentration in the leisure and hotel industry, the industry has been hit hardest by unemployment. As of September 2021, the leisure and hospitality industry is still 1.6 million jobs below the level of employment in February 2020. Before the pandemic, 14.6% of Hispanic workers were employed in the leisure and hospitality industry, compared to 7.3% of non-Hispanic white men. In addition, 30.4% of Latino women, but only 11.6% of white men, are employed in low-paying service occupations that cannot be converted to remote work. As a result, between 2019 and 2020, the number of full-time, full-year Latino earners fell by 17.4%, while white men fell by 9.2%.
Change in the percentage of full-time annual income earners by race, ethnicity, and gender from 2019 to 2020
notes: White refers to non-Hispanic whites, black refers to blacks alone or in combination, and Hispanics refers to Hispanics of any race.
source: EPI analysis of the Social and Economic Supplementary Historical Poverty Form (Form P-38) for the current census year.
As these numbers show, Latin Americans are among the groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic shocks. Policymakers have a responsibility to ensure a strong and fair recovery and equal pay for Latino workers.