Navigating Workplace Dynamics: Intersections of Age, Race, and Gender for Hispanic/Latino Older Workers – Part 1

February 2, 2024

Labor Force Participation and Wage Disparities

Portrait Of Male Florist Outside Shop Smiling To Camera.

Hispanic/Latino older workers exhibit commendable labor force participation rates, yet wage disparities persist, underscoring the complex intersection of age, race, and gender dynamics. According to recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the labor force participation rate for Hispanic workers aged 55 and older stands at 37.8%, their median weekly earnings remain lower compared to non-Hispanic workers in the same age group, with Hispanic men earning 79.1% and Hispanic women earning 74.7% of the median earnings of their non-Hispanic counterparts.

Occupational segregation plays a significant role in perpetuating these wage differentials. Research by organizations such as the Economic Policy Institute highlights that Hispanic/Latino older workers are disproportionately concentrated in lower-paying sectors such as service occupations (e.g., janitorial services, food preparation) and construction, where median wages tend to be lower compared to sectors with a higher concentration of non-Hispanic workers.

Moreover, language barriers and educational attainment levels further exacerbate wage disparities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 21% of Hispanic adults aged 25 and older have not completed high school, compared to 9% of non-Hispanic adults. This disparity in educational attainment can limit access to higher-paying positions that require advanced skills or degrees, contributing to wage differentials.

Addressing these wage disparities requires multifaceted strategies. Initiatives aimed at promoting equal pay for equal work, combating discrimination in hiring and promotion practices, and providing opportunities for skill development and career advancement are essential. Additionally, targeted policies that address language barriers and educational disparities can help level the playing field and enhance economic outcomes for Hispanic/Latino older workers.

Keep an eye out for the part 2 of our series!