Labor force growth to be largely Hispanic

Feb. 14, 2012 at 2:29 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- Hispanics are likely to account for 74 percent of the growth in the U.S. labor force through 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects.

Citing federal statistics, the non-profit Pew Research Center, based in Washington, said the 74 percent figure is substantially higher than the percentage of Hispanics who accounted for labor force growth in the previous two decades. Hispanics accounted for 36 percent of the increase in the 1990s and 54 percent from 2000 to 2010, Pew said.

The report said two trends account for the trend -- rapid growth in the U.S. Hispanic population due to births and immigration, and the aging of the non-Hispanic white population, which will likely reduce its representation in the labor force.

Pew says Hispanics participate in the labor force at a higher rate than other demographic groups.

"The nation's labor force participation rate -- that is, the share of the population ages 16 and older either employed or looking for work -- was 64.7 percent in 2010," the report said. "Among Hispanics, the rate was 67.5 percent. There are two main explanations for this gap: Hispanics are a younger population than other groups, and include a higher share of immigrants."

The Pew report is based on BLS projections indicating growth of the U.S. labor force will slow overall between 2010 and 2020.

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