Numbers, Facts and Trends Shaping Your World

Latino Workers in the Ongoing Recession: 2007 to 2008

V. Jobs Losses and Gains by Industry

Not surprisingly, the construction industry led all sectors in shedding jobs for both Hispanics and non-Hispanics. But in most other respects, the experiences of Hispanics and non-Hispanics have differed since the third quarter of 2007. These workers tended to lose and gain jobs in different industries. That also proved to be true of the experiences of native-born and foreign-born Latinos.

Employment of Latinos in the construction industry fell by 156,000 workers, or 5.3%, from the third quarter of 2007 to the third quarter of 2008 (Table 9). Similarly, employment of non-Latinos in the industry decreased by 544,000 workers, or 5.9%. These trends, of course, reflect the source and character of the ongoing recession.

Hispanic workers also lost jobs in another mainstay industry — professional and other business services. This industry is the third-largest employer of Hispanics and offers myriad job opportunities, ranging from landscaping services to janitorial services to waste disposal. However, Hispanics found themselves with 65,000 fewer jobs in this industry in the third quarter of 2008 compared with the third quarter of 2007.

Latinos also lost 66,000 jobs in finance, insurance and real estate, an industry that is rich in white-collar jobs. Indeed, most of these job losses accrued to native-born Latinos. Compared with foreign-born Latinos, the native born have higher levels of education and are more likely to work in white-collar occupations.

Despite the recession, Hispanics found more job opportunities in three industries: agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining; repair and maintenance services; and transportation and warehousing. Non-Hispanics found new employment in educational services; hospitals and other health services; and eating, drinking and lodging services.

Employment trends by industry reveal that foreign-born and native-born Hispanics have had differing experiences in the current recession (Table 10). Although foreign-born Hispanics lost a total of 198,000 jobs in wholesale and retail trade and in eating, drinking and lodging services, native-born Hispanics gained 182,000 jobs in the same industries. Overall, native and foreign-born Latinos have tended to lose and gain jobs in different industries.

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