Fall 2014 Latinomics: Poverty, Unbanked, and Unemployment Rates Decline
Cutting across partisan divides, voters across America backed minimum wage increases.
This fall, we saw the Latino unemployment rate hit the lowest level since February 2008, declines in the Latino poverty rate, and victory for 200,000 employees of federal contractors who will now make a minimum wage of $10.10.
While the Latino poverty and unemployment rates still remain disproportionately high and we saw setbacks as the Labor Department delayed implementing the minimum wage for home care workers, NCLR won’t stop fighting for the rights we all deserve.
Thanks for all your support this fall, and read on to see the latest in Latinomics!
Economic Rights Are Essential to the Pursuit of Happiness
Last week, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray addressed students at Michigan State University on the anniversary of three pivotal moments in American History: the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974.
With these three historic events, the United States moved closer to fully realizing the inevitable truth that civil rights, political rights, and economic rights are inextricably linked. They are all necessary for a free and democratic society.
While Brown v. Board of Education and the 1964 Civil Rights Act are relatively known for their roles in reducing legal discrimination, Director Cordray used his speech to highlight a less-known antidiscrimination law: the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
For the first time, ECOA outlawed discrimination by creditors against borrowers based on race, ethnicity, sex, age, and national origin.
For Latinos in Large Cities, High Rent and Stagnant Income Mean the American Dream is Slipping Away
While a majority of Latinos believe that homeownership is part of the American Dream, high housing costs and low incomes coupled with a lack of mortgage credit are locking them out of achieving it.
In the 10 cities in the nation with the highest median rents, households devote an average of 44% of their income to rent.
NCLR overlaid the large Latino populations in these cities to show the high burden of rent on Latino households, who tend to earn below-median income, especially in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and Miami.
While we’ve highlighted trends in the past indicating Latinos are being locked out of the American Dream of homeownership due to tightening mortgage credit standards, this analysis highlights the difficulty many Latinos have in simply affording rent, let alone being able to pay off debt to improve credit scores or saving for a mortgage down payment.