Latino progress is a mirror of the segments many of the Latino population.
On Sunday, October 23, I had the pleasure of appearing on Tiempo, a public affairs program hosted by Joe Torres of WABC-TV.
I was paired with another guest on this Hispanic-focused program—Sulma Arzu Brown of the NYC Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. We were there to discuss an intriguing report recently released by the White House on the economic progress of Hispanics over the eight years that President Obama has been in office.
Progress for Latinos Is Remarkable
Overall, the news is good. Take the unemployment rate among Latinos.
Today it stands at just 6.4 percent, down a whopping 6.6 percent since 2009. One thing that stands out for me is the large number of Latino entrepreneurs we have in the United States. In fact, the majority of new businesses in the country are started by immigrants, as many readers of Latin Business Today know.
This is illustrated by a walk down the main street of many of the villages in Westchester County, New York, where I live and work.
There we find a wide array of restaurants, bakeries, variety stores and similar small businesses that are the primary sustainers of our downtown areas. Big box stores often hurt downtowns, but small businesses help communities thrive.
Plus, the benefits of entrepreneurial activity get passed along to others. More Latino-owned businesses mean more job opportunities for those who are not entrepreneurs, but who are willing to work hard, pay taxes, and contribute to the life of their communities.
While there is no question that we are seeing an increase in job opportunities for Latinos, there are still substantial barriers to progress, and this is where my organization, Neighbors Link, focuses its efforts on social change.
There are many segments of the Latino population that are not reflected in the White House report, such as the four million U.S. born children in our country who are being raised by undocumented parents.
These parents and people like them often have little formal education and are sometimes stuck in jobs that expose them to exploitation, wage theft, and even human trafficking.
View this episode of Tiempo, click here to visit the program’s website.
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