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Spotlight on Statistics

Septemeber 2012

BLS Spotlight on Statistics: National Hispanic Heritage Month

Audio Script

National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the cultures, histories, and accomplishments of Americans of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. This yearly celebration begins on September 15 and ends on October 15. Across the United States, many communities, businesses, and schools take time to recognize and honor this heritage. The U.S. Hispanic or Latino population exceeded 50 million in 2010, constituting more than 16 percent of the total U.S. population.

Here are some BLS data that highlight the Hispanic or Latino labor force:

  • The Hispanic or Latino labor force increased from 9 million in 1988 to 23 million in 2011.
  • In 2011, across all age groups, men of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity had higher labor force participation rates than their female counterparts. The labor force participation rate for Hispanic or Latino men ages 25 to 34 was 92 percent, compared with 65 percent for women.
  • In New Mexico, Hispanics or Latinos represented 42 percent of the labor force in 2011, the highest share of all states and the District of Columbia.
  • In 2011, foreign-born Hispanics or Latinos had a higher labor force participation rate (70 percent) than the native born (63 percent).
  • The Hispanic or Latino civilian labor force is projected to reach 30.5 million in 2020.
  • The education and health services industry employed the largest percentage of Hispanics or Latinos; 6 percent were employed in educational services and 10 percent in health care and social assistance.
  • In 2011, median weekly earnings of Hispanics or Latinos who worked full time were lower than those of Blacks, Whites, and Asians.
  • Hispanics or Latinos spent 16 percent of their annual income on food—a larger share than any other race or ethnic group.
  • On workdays, employed Hispanics or Latinos spent an average of 8.68 hours per day on work and work-related activities in 2011 and 2.77 hours per workday on leisure and sports activities.
  • In 2010, the construction industry accounted for the largest number of fatal occupational injuries among Hispanic or Latino workers.

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