By Yuqi Wang, Policy Analyst, Economic Policy Project, UnidosUS
Every worker deserves to be safe in their workplace and to know that their well-being is a priority for their employers. Unfortunately, that is not always a reality—in 2015, the AFL-CIO found that 4,386 U.S. workers were killed on the job. That year, a staggering 903 Latinos had a workplace-related fatality, the highest number of Latino deaths in 10 years. This means that about 2.5 Latinos die just trying to make a living each day.
A national poll recently released by UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) found that safe working conditions and protections intended to promote workers’ safety and well-being are lacking for many low-income Latino workers:
- One in five low-income workers (20 percent) reported that going to work sick or delaying a medical appointment is a problem they have experienced in the workplace.
- More than one-quarter of low-wage Latino workers (28 percent) received no orientation at their jobs.
- More than one-third (34 percent) of low-wage earning respondents received no training about workplace rights or safety.
- When low-income Latino workers try to speak up about their concerns or dissatisfaction with their working conditions, they report experiencing employer retaliation. Nearly one in two workers have said they or someone they know have been treated differently or punished for raising workplace problems.
Each year, NCLR’s Workforce Development Forum provides a platform for uniting and engaging the Latino community on issues that affect the immigrant workforce. This year, one of the focuses will be addressing the complex needs of America’s future workforce: our young people.
Along with the knowledge and skills that participants will take from this year’s Forum, which will once again be held in the fabulous city of Las Vegas, attendees will also have the opportunity to network and mingle with leaders from the various fields that make up workforce development. Attendees will also get the chance to learn from one another with the hope of enhancing our education and workforce systems for years to come.
Photo: One Day Closer
Today, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that employers added 235,000 jobs in February, a hefty gain that far exceeded economists’ prediction of 190,000 jobs. Additionally, the national unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 4.7 percent. The U.S. Federal Reserve says that he low rate, which has stayed under 5 percent since April 2016 indicates our economy is at or near full employment.
The Latino unemployment rate dropped by almost half a percentage point to 5.6 percent last month. An increase in construction appears to have spurred Latino employment. The industry added 58,000 jobs with the most growth in specialty trade contractors and heavy and civil engineering construction. While Latinos comprise nearly 1/3 of construction jobs, they are more likely to be in lower-wage labor positions.
Employers in the United States added 227,000 jobs last month. These figures are the latest numbers the Depart of Labor issued in their monthly employment report. The unemployment rate ticked up slightly from 4.7% in December to 4.8% in January. Latino unemployment kept steady at 5.9%.
Our latest Latino Jobs Report, shows that participation in the labor force, however, did increase for all workers. Translation: people who were previously not in the labor force are now returning to it. The rate of Latino worker labor force participation stands at 66.1%, the highest of all other racial and ethnic groups
By Amelia Collins, Policy Analyst, NCLR
Photo: Roman Boed
Starting this week, the 115th Congress began work dismantling public protections for American workers, consumers, and families. NCLR has a history of being active in the regulatory process with significant success. This includes a final overtime rule that will benefit two million Latino workers, and a rule ensuring that retirement advisors make decisions in their client’s best interest. These rules will help millions of Latinos and other workers get more for their hard work.
So why would Congress want to eliminate these and other crucial protections? Well, some say that regulations cost the economy jobs and stymie growth. However, recent economic trends suggest otherwise:
- The economy is on a record of 75 consecutive months of job growth.
- Unemployment is down to 4.7% from a pre-recession peak of 10%, and wages are rising.
- Median household income increased in 2015 and poverty rates fell, with the Latino poverty rate being the lowest since 2006.