Of course, I soon grew weary of writing for guys who think $5,000 stereo speakers are their god-given right. But I also got tired of explaining the gig to people who asked, “Just how many rich Latino men can there be?”
However, as America lurches out of its economic doldrums, it might surprise people that Latinos are leading the way. In fact, Hispanics (along with Asians) have the strongest job growth in the country, and “their employment levels are higher now than just before the start of the Great Recession … a milestone not yet reached by white and black workers.”
Furthermore, the much-maligned Latino immigrant male is working harder than ever. About 80 percent of foreign-born men (many of whom are presumably Hispanic) are in the labor force, “a full 10 percentage points higher than the rate among native-born men.” Keep in mind that, contrary to conventional thinking, immigrants – even undocumented ones – put more into the American economy than they take out.
The bottom line is that about 60 percent of the jobs that this country created last year went to Latinos. Many of those jobs are low-paying gigs, so it’s not quite time to break out the champagne.
But it’s clear that the fabled Latino work ethic is propelling much of the economic momentum in this country. Perhaps this was inevitable.
For some time now, America has been looking to Hispanics to boost the economy. Even at the beginning of the downturn, Hispanic Business pointed out that “Hispanics will likely supply valuable labor and sustain the U.S. economy far into the 21st century.”
Indeed, the buying power of Latinos “has increased from $210 billion in 1990 to $1 trillion in 2010 and is projected to climb to $1.5 trillion in 2015.” And in case you were wondering, that increase covers just a quarter century and “is 605.3 percent, the highest of all race/ethnic groups.”
So to answer the question about just how many affluent Hispanics there are, let me point out that in the last decade, “the number of upscale Latino households more than doubled, and grew three times faster than the number of non-Latino upscale households.” At this pace, it’s entirely likely that Latinos will soon be even more of an economic force than we currently are.
After all, we already have mega-rich Hispanics who think nothing of spending extravagantly and flaunting their wealth, just like old-money one percenters.
You can’t tell me that’s not progress.