Hispanics will make up nearly 20 percent of the labor force in 2024

September 28, 2016

In observation of Hispanic Heritage month, which runs every year from September 15 through October 15, The Economics Daily takes a look at some labor force statistics for Hispanic Americans.

The Hispanic share of the labor force is expected to increase more than that of any other demographic group, because of both overall population growth (from higher births and increased immigration) and higher labor force participation rates. Over the 2004–14 decade, the Hispanic civilian noninstitutional population grew at an average annual rate of 3.2 percent.

Civilian noninstitutional population, by Hispanic origin, 1994, 2004, 2014, and projected 2024
Year Level Percent of population

1994

18,117,000 9.2

2004

28,109,000 12.6

2014

38,400,000 15.5

2024

49,272,000 18.3

As the Hispanic population continues to increase at faster rates, so does the group’s labor force. The Hispanic labor force was nearly 12.0 million in 1994, 19.3 million in 2004, and 25.4 million in 2014. BLS projects that it will reach 32.5 million in 2024, increasing the share of Hispanics in the total labor force over the next decade. In 2004, Hispanics were 13.1 percent of the labor force, a share that increased to 16.3 percent in 2014. BLS projects that Hispanics will make up nearly 20 percent of the labor force in 2024.

Civilian labor force, by Hispanic origin, 1994, 2004, 2014, and projected 2024
Year Level Percent of labor force

1994

11,975,000 9.1

2004

19,272,000 13.1

2014

25,370,000 16.3

2024

32,486,000 19.8

The Hispanic labor force participation rate was 66.1 percent in 1994 and increased by 2.5 percentage points, to 68.6 percent by 2004. The 2007–09 recession brought about falling participation rates for all race and ethnic groups, including Hispanics, whose labor force participation rate returned to the 1994 level of 66.1 percent in 2014.

The labor force participation rate of Hispanics is projected to decrease slightly by 2024. Hispanic men historically have had a higher labor force participation rate than non-Hispanic men. Hispanic women, by contrast, have had a lower participation than non-Hispanic women. The high labor force participation rate of Hispanic men reflects, in part, their age structure: Hispanics have a younger population than non-Hispanic groups, with a greater proportion at the ages of higher labor force participation.

Civilian labor force participation rate, by Hispanic origin, 1994, 2004, 2014, and projected 2024
Year Participation rate

1994

66.1

2004

68.6

2014

66.1

2024

65.9

Higher participation in the labor force by Hispanic men relative to other racial and ethnic groups is projected to increase its share in the labor force, continuing the trend of even more racial and ethnic diversity in the workforce in the next 10 years. The projection for Hispanic women’s participation rates is also higher than the projected rates for non-Hispanic women; this is a reversal of the historical data.

These data are from the Current Population Survey and the Employment Projections program and can be found in the December 2015 Monthly Labor Review article "Labor force projections to 2024: the labor force is growing, but slowly." Hispanics may be of any race. Population data are for ages 16 and older. For more information about Hispanics in the workforce, see this short video by the Department of Labor.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Hispanics will make up nearly 20 percent of the labor force in 2024 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/hispanics-will-make-up-nearly-20-percent-of-the-labor-force-in-2024.htm (visited September 15, 2019).

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