Landscaping worker
Landscaping worker Gillis

The runaway inflation plaguing the United States is hitting the lowest income citizens particularly hard. Hispanics and African Americans fall into this category.

According to a Legal Services Corporation report, 'The Justice Gap: The Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans,' Hispanics are much more likely to be low-income than non-Hispanic Whites and Asian Americans. In fact, nearly one-quarter (23%) of Hispanics live in households with incomes below 125% of poverty.

Since hand work is the source of household income, this situation is a product of the low wages paid in the jobs held by most Hispanics in the United States.

In one of the states with the largest Latino population, Texas, with more than 12 million Hispanics or Latinos, according to the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), 54.2% of Hispanic workers --3.1 million-- earn less than $15 an hour, far below the national average of 46.1% who earn the same per hour, according to a study by the economic policy institute Oxfam America.

Latinos in Texas are more likely to work in construction, janitorial, office and administrative support, management and business, and sales, according to a study by the TWC for 2020 and 2021. In fact, more than 681,000 Latinos -- 13% of the Latino workforce -- work in construction.

The low-income situation, can be explained by the fact that unskilled jobs are the lowest paid around the world, but in the United States there is a tendency in some sectors of the economy to look primarily to immigrant and Hispanic workers for lower-than-average wages. Agricultural workers are a clear example.

Another reason is education, which is becoming the key to lifting a community out of poverty and into higher social status.

Currently, just over two-thirds of Texas Latinos will have earned a high school diploma by age 25, compared to 90% for other ethnic groups, according to the Texas Demographic Center.

Educational attainment determines the types of jobs that are available, which in turn determines wages.

The median household income for whites was $81,060 in 2022, while that for Hispanics was $62,800, according to 2023 U.S. Census statistics.

This is of particular concern given that the majority of the Latino population is young and represents the future of the community and the states where they are the majority.

On the other hand, with unprecedented advances in technologies such as information technology, artificial intelligence, and robotics, more and more skilled workers will be needed in many occupations. The bleak prospect of a generalized unemployment problem for the Latino community would be a real disaster for all of American society.

In states like Florida, where the cost of living is skyrocketing, the minimum wage is currently $12. But in the horticulture industry, which employs many immigrants from the Americas, the wage is $14 to $17.

Domingo Aguilar, one of the many Latino immigrants working as a landscaper at Donald Trump's golf course in West Palm Beach, told The Latin Times: "Here I get paid $15 an hour to maintain the golf course's garden.

Another troubling trend for Latino workers is that their wages, adjusted for inflation, will grow twice as fast as those of non-Latinos between 2011 and 2021, 3.7% annually, compared to 1.8% for non-Latinos, according to a U.S. Latino GDP report by UCLA.

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