26.8 million Hispanics or Latinos in the U.S. labor force in 2016

September 25, 2017

Americans celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. The month honors the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the history and culture of the United States. In 2016, there were 26.8 million Hispanics or Latinos in the U.S. labor force, nearly triple the 9.0 million in 1988. Hispanics or Latinos composed 16.8 percent of the labor force in 2016, up from 7.4 percent in 1988.

Hispanics or Latinos include people from many ethnic groups and cultures. The largest is Mexican Americans, who accounted for 61 percent of the Hispanic or Latino labor force in 2016, around the same share as in 1988. Cubans are the smallest group, accounting for about 4 percent of the Hispanic or Latino labor force in 2016, a slightly smaller share than in 1988.

 

 

Civilian labor force of Hispanics or Latinos age 16 and older by detailed ethnic group, 1988–2016 annual averages
Year Total Hispanic or Latino Mexican Puerto Rican Cuban Other Hispanic or Latino

1988

8,982,000 5,572,000 883,000 565,000 1,962,000

1989

9,323,000 5,740,000 889,000 562,000 2,132,000

1990

10,720,000 6,707,000 960,000 603,000 2,450,000

1991

10,920,000 6,712,000 1,041,000 593,000 2,574,000

1992

11,338,000 7,091,000 1,048,000 577,000 2,622,000

1993

11,610,000 7,281,000 1,073,000 604,000 2,652,000

1994

11,975,000 7,567,000 1,026,000 604,000 2,778,000

1995

12,267,000 7,765,000 1,098,000 613,000 2,791,000

1996

12,774,000 7,943,000 1,170,000 637,000 3,024,000

1997

13,796,000 8,546,000 1,293,000 646,000 3,311,000

1998

14,317,000 9,096,000 1,249,000 651,000 3,321,000

1999

14,665,000 9,267,000 1,269,000 714,000 3,415,000

2000

16,689,000 10,783,000 1,411,000 740,000 3,755,000

2001

17,328,000 11,218,000 1,454,000 671,000 3,985,000

2002

17,943,000 11,542,000 1,546,000 635,000 4,220,000

2003

18,813,000 12,081,000 1,649,000 679,000 4,404,000

2004

19,272,000 12,340,000 1,610,000 769,000 4,553,000

2005

19,824,000 12,671,000 1,619,000 755,000 4,779,000

2006

20,694,000 13,158,000 1,599,000 807,000 5,130,000

2007

21,602,000 13,672,000 1,684,000 898,000 5,348,000

2008

22,024,000 14,009,000 1,822,000 897,000 5,296,000

2009

22,352,000 14,210,000 1,850,000 877,000 5,415,000

2010

22,748,000 14,403,000 1,906,000 970,000 5,469,000

2011

22,898,000 14,360,000 1,893,000 976,000 5,669,000

2012

24,391,000 15,128,000 2,090,000 1,102,000 6,071,000

2013

24,771,000 15,366,000 2,066,000 1,043,000 6,296,000

2014

25,370,000 15,768,000 2,114,000 1,009,000 6,479,000

2015

26,126,000 16,392,000 2,220,000 1,079,000 6,435,000

2016

26,797,000 16,458,000 2,305,000 1,149,000 6,885,000

Puerto Ricans accounted for about 9 percent of the Hispanic or Latino labor force in 2016, around the same share that existed throughout the 1988–2016 period. Other Hispanics or Latinos—whose family origins are in Central or South America and other locations besides Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Cuba—accounted for 26 percent of the Hispanic or Latino labor force in 2016, up from 22 percent in 1988.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see our page on Race and Hispanic or Latino Ethnicity. In this analysis, Puerto Ricans include labor force participants living in the 50 states or the District of Columbia, but not those living in Puerto Rico.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 26.8 million Hispanics or Latinos in the U.S. labor force in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/26-point-8-million-hispanics-or-latinos-in-the-u-s-labor-force-in-2016.htm (visited December 12, 2017).

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