Health care and immigration reform keys to Latino household wealth, says report
Enacting health care reform, boosting minimum wage and job employment programs, and passing comprehensive immigration reform would go a long way to ensuring Latino households do not stay far behind as other American households recover from the devastating recession, according to a new report.
“A return to economic growth is insufficient to lift all boats, and policymakers need to step in to make sure that communities of color equitably benefit from the economic recovery,” say the authors of a new study by the center-left organization, Center for American Progress.
Latino and African American households are still “feeling the pain” of the recession three years into the economic recovery. Just allowing the economy to correct itself and companies to add jobs, argue the authors, is not going to change some fundamental reasons why Latino households lag behind. Nearly one in four Latino households live below the poverty line.
Take jobs, for example. There are 16 percent more Latinos working at minimum wage jobs in the last two years as the economy has recovered. These jobs, however, do not pay enough in wages to cover realistic living costs and help families pay down debt, according to the authors. In the fast-growing home health care industry, for example, 95 percent of the workers are Latino and African American. Yet in 2010, more than 17 percent of the workers were not even being paid minimum wage and almost 83 percent were not being paid overtime.
Read the full story at NBC Latino