September 19, 2007

Lowest Paid Latino Immigrants

36%

That’s the percentage of foreign-born Latino workers in the lowest fifth of the wage distribution in 2005 — a decline from 42% in 1995.

The proportion of foreign-born Latino workers in the lowest quintile of the wage distribution decreased to 36% from 42% while many workers moved into the middle quintiles, according to a recent analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center. Newly arrived Hispanic workers also were much less likely to be low-wage earners in 2005 than in 1995, in part because they were older, better educated and more likely to be employed in construction than in agriculture. Yet despite the clear movement into the middle range of the wage distribution, many foreign-born Latinos remain low-wage earners. Even though the share of Latino workers at the low end decreased, in absolute numbers this population grew by 1.2 million between 1995 and 2005. Read More