WASHINGTON, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Data backs up the belief among U.S. Latinos that they've been hurt more by the economic downturn than other groups, researchers said.
Fifty-four percent of Latinos say they believe that the economic downturn that began in 2007 has been harder on them than on other Americans, the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, said Thursday.
The national survey of 1,220 Hispanic adults was conducted Nov. 9 through Dec. 7, 2011.
In an analysis of government data, the Pew Hispanic Center found that median household wealth among Hispanics from 2005 through 2009 fell 66 percent. Among whites, the median household wealth dropped 16 percent and among blacks it fell 53 percent, the study found.
Unemployment among Latinos was 6.3 percent in December 2007, at the beginning of the so-called Great Recession and 11 percent in December 2011. Among all groups unemployment rose from 5 percent to 8.5 percent in the same period.
In the survey, 59 percent of Latinos indicated that someone in their household had been out of work and looking for a job in the past 12 months. Among the general population 51 percent indicated their household was hit with the same predicament.
This makes it difficult to explain the optimism among Hispanics, researchers said.
Sixty-seven percent of Latino respondents indicated they expected their personal financial situation to improve in the next 12 months. Among the population at large, 48 percent indicated an expectation of improvement.