Labor Day Report Finds that Work Does Not Work for Latinas

Despite Excelling in the Labor Market, Latinas Are Not Receiving the Full Benefits of Employment.

Washington, DCUnidosUS—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization—released Making Jobs Work for Latinas The new report, released for Labor Day, describes how the workplace too often fails to meet the needs of determined Latinas across the country despite their higher-than-average participation in the workforce and very high rates of entrepreneurialism. Despite their efforts being a major driver for our national economy, the rewards of working for Latinas are limited by policies that both exclude the broader Hispanic community and disproportionately impact Latinas.  

“Work is simply not working for Latinas. While Latina workers are primed to drive U.S. economic growth in the coming years, we must enact new policies that support better-quality jobs, allowing them to reap the full benefits of their employment. The truth is that when Latinas thrive, we all thrive. This report highlights policy recommendations to improve the value of work for Latinas, better support family-work balance, and ensure their growing economic momentum and dynamism continues,” said Susana Barragán, Policy Analyst at UnidosUS and author of the report. 

By 2031, the number of Latinas in the workforce is expected to grow by approximately 26%— a higher rate than any other demographic group, including Hispanic males. The report outlines a number of critical policy solutions to improve supports for Latinas in our workforce: 

  • Address low wages, unpredictable schedules, and poor workplace protections.

According to a Center for American Progress analysis, Latinos make up, at most, only 3.4% of any of the top 10 highest-paying occupations—including physicians, lawyers, and financial and investment analysis. In contrast, Latinas have a disproportionately higher representation in the lowest-paying occupations in the United States. These lower-paying occupations also often offer unpredictable schedules and are more likely to be rife with labor violations and poor workplace protections.

  • Increase access to paid leave.

Latinos are the least likely of any racial or ethnic group to have access to paid family leave through their employer, with only 25.1% of Latinos reporting access to paid parental leave compared to 49.7% of whites. Latinos also disproportionately work in occupations in which employers fail to provide paid sick days.

  • Increase affordable and accessible childcare. 

Latinas are disproportionately employed in jobs with unpredictable or inflexible hours,  complicating their family’s access to quality childcare. In addition to policies that are directly work-related, the creation of a national system for affordable and accessible childcare would greatly increase Latinas’ earning potential by eliminating obstacles to full-time employment with higher pay and benefits. 

  • Increase Latinas access to Retirement Savings Plans.  

Latinas are the least likely to have an employer sponsored retirement account: Just 18% of Hispanic women report having an employer-sponsored retirement account, compared to 45% of white women, 32% of Hispanic men, and 71% of white men. 

To learn more about the findings, read the full report here.