2nd generation fared worse than other Hispanics in downturn
Dec. 24, 2003
They're generally more educated and speak better English than immigrants, but
second-generation Hispanics had a tougher time in the economic downturn than
their first-generation counterparts, a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center
A surge of young, U.S.-born Hispanics - the start of a wave of workers who will
eventually replace retiring baby boomers - joined the working world just as the
economy turned sour. That made things difficult as they competed for jobs
against others with longer work records.
"What we're seeing here is the leading edge of this big population moving into
the labor force," said Roberto Suro, director of the Washington-based Pew
Hispanic Center. "It's a very tough market for young Hispanic people. It's much
tougher for the young, native-born than it is for immigrants."
Second-generation Hispanics, the U.S.-born children of people who immigrated to
this country, wrestled with more than bad timing. With their higher levels of
education, many have more ambitious career aspirations than immigrants, Suro
said. But some lack the connections that could help propel them into good jobs.
"They come from immigrant families where there is a limited knowledge of the
U.S. and a limited knowledge of the labor force," he said.
Unemployment rates for the second generation rose to 10 percent at the end of
2002, higher than the rate for both immigrants and for third-generation
Hispanics, which were at 7.2 and 6.6 percent, respectively, according to the
The center analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the end of 2000 to late