Latinos in the United States Labor Market

  • Lisa Catanzarite
  • Lindsey Trimble

Latinos constitute a large and growing share of the United States’ labor force. Hence, they are- and will increasingly be-critical to the productivity of the U.S. economy. Yet, Latinos experience a number of significant labor market disadvantages, including high unemployment rates, low wages, overrepresentation in low-level occupations, and limited mobility. This chapter provides an overview of Latinos’ position in the workforce. We profile Latino workers with up-to-date statistics on various aspects of incorporation, giving attention to critical dimensions of diversity among Latinos. Interspersed with the presentation of these data, we review recent literature on the research areas we identified as dominant in the current scholarship on Latino workers: labor force participation, unemployment, spatial and skills mismatch, occupations, ethnic economies, social networks, and immigrant complementarity versus competition.1 Studies of Latino workers have been guided by several theoretical frames that focus on the following: individual deficits in education, language, and labor force experience (human capital); discrimination; and structural factors (including spatial and skills mismatch resulting from industrial restructuring, employment in ethnic enclaves, occupational segregation, and social networks). We cannot adjudicate between these here, but, instead, review research that reflects the dominant, current discussions of Latino incorporation and disadvantage.


Labor Force Participation American Sociological Review Mexican Immigrant Russell Sage Foundation Latina Woman 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Catanzarite
    • 1
  • Lindsey Trimble
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyDepartment of SociologyUSA

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