The U.S. labor market is on the uptick, and one group in particular is benefiting the most: Hispanics.
Over the past 12 months, employment amongst Hispanics has increased 5 percent, according to the Labor Department. In comparison, employment has increased 3.8 percent for blacks and 1.4 percent for whites.
According to The New York Times, the improving job market is actually due to changes that “most skeptics of immigration would cheer,” such as growth in the construction industry, which has resumed flourishing in four states: California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas—which also happen to be the states with the highest Latino populations.
Construction jobs account for about 20 percent of the jobs created in 2014, and a majority of these jobs are held by Hispanics.
During the recession, Hispanics lost about 700,000 jobs in construction. By 2014, however, the construction industry had recovered more than half a million jobs, around 315,000 of which went to Hispanics.
Employment among Hispanics expected to continue growing
The employment rate among Hispanics is only expected to increase, according to the findings of a study reported by The Wall Street Journal. The study estimated that the country’s Hispanic population will account for roughly 40 percent of employment growth over the next five years.
The trend doesn’t stop there, though; according to the study, Hispanics will hold 11 million out of 14 million new jobs created between now and 2034.
While the job growth amongst Hispanics certainly reflects an improving economy, another reason for the lower Hispanic unemployment the decline in illegal immigration in recent years. However, the Times also predicted that the robust economy will spur the growth of illegal immigration, which we have seen a glimpse of already.
“Sooner or later, of course, the recovery will begin attracting more workers from Latin America, notwithstanding the beefed-up enforcement,” wrote Noam Scheiber for the Times. “Although illegal immigration is still far below its peak, it has begun to tick up again. Excluding unaccompanied minors, apprehensions at the southern border are up 25 percent since they bottomed out in 2011.”