Hispanic labor force

U.S. Hispanics Expected to Fill Baby Boomer Labor Gap
— reported by HispanicBusiness.com

Nearly 1 in 4 United States residents will be Hispanic by 2030 if current demographic trends hold. That makes the nation dependent on the group to fill jobs that retiring baby boomers will leave, according to a study released by a National Academy of Sciences research group.

But as a group, Hispanics are younger, poorer, less educated, more likely to drop out of high school and not as fluent in English as other ethnic groups.

The United States must address their educational and economic needs, or risk a severe shortage of skilled labor in coming decades, the study says.

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More than 600,000 Hispanics are estimated to be making their home in North Carolina today. Many are children who advance through the public school system, but fail to make the critical leap to college, said Maria Fraser-Molina, chairwoman of the steering committee of the Hispanic/Latino Initiative at the N.C. Community College System.

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The community college initiative was funded by a private grant in 2002 to reach out to public schools and to students of English as a Second Language to entice young Hispanics into academic programs. But the funding ended in 2005, and Fraser-Molina and other committee members have since tried to keep the program alive in their spare time with no paid staff.

The 82-million strong baby-boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, is turning 50 to the tune of 12,000 a day, with the first wave turning 60 this year. The generation that follows is much smaller.

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Author: Paloma Cruz

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