Hispanic workers landed two out of every three new construction jobs in 2006, according to a March 7 report by the Pew Hispanic Center. They benefited from strong employment growth in the industry even as the housing market endured a year-long slump. Indeed, the construction industry continues to be a key source of jobs for Hispanics and especially for those who are foreign born and recently arrived.
Hispanic employment increased by almost one million from 2005 to 2006. Even though Latinos account for only 13.6% of total employment, they accounted for 36.7% of the increase in employment. The comparatively high share of employment reflects demographic changes in the United States. About 40% of the total increase in the working-age population (16 and older) in 2006 was Hispanic and of these 75% are foreign-born Latino workers.
Foreign-born Latinos who arrived since 2000 were responsible for about 24% of the total increase in employment in the U.S. labor market last year. Estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center suggest that in recent years about 66% of the increase in the employment of recently arrived Hispanic workers has been due to unauthorized migration.
The estimates are derived from data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. Most of the data is from the Current Population Survey, a monthly Census Bureau survey of approximately 60,000 households. Monthly data are combined to create larger sample sizes and to conduct the analysis on either an annual or quarterly basis. The analysis is for 2004-2006.
The Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research organization, is a project of the Pew Research Center and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts .
Click on the headline to access the full report at the Pew Hispanic Center Web site.