Cuts in Education Will Increase Latino Unemployment

By Efrain Nieves

At 17.7 percent Connecticut has the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation with Latinos at the lead. Only Rhode Island, with 21.8 percent unemployment, and Nevada, 18.6 percent, have a higher jobless rate for Latinos than Connecticut. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor titled “The Hispanic Labor Force in the Recovery,”  the state has lost roughly 94,000 jobs from 2008 through 2010.  As of March the overall unemployment rate  in the U.S. for  Latinos is 11.9 percent.

While Latinos struggle in the workforce in this slow rebounding economy, the community faces another problem, the dropout rate. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 18.3 percent of Latino students dropped out of school in 2008. Some might say that is roughly 2 percent less than 2007 but it is a large number considering the fast growing Latino population. And with congress looking to cut early education funds, the future looks anything but bright.

To make matter worse, 23.2 percent of Latinos were living in poverty in 2008. In that same year, 8.7 percent of students living in low income households dropped out of school.

Is it any coincidence that unemployment and drop out rates are rampant when states are facing huge financial shortfalls? More frequent cuts in education programs will do nothing else but increase these dismal statistics.

When the young in urban and poorer areas have no place to go for after school, vocational skill building programs or continuing education programs the consequence is a large number of people on an alleyway to nowhere. That is what I feel is happening in my home state of CT.  The only way to counter the trend is if more community organizers and those afflicted start to understand that nothing is a given and all must be earned.  In other words, we are only entitled to what we have the right to. IF we are complacent and take the easy road, politicians and school districts will not care, believe me. The ones affected are minorities so who cares? That is why we need to seek out any programs left that would allows us to continue to educate and prepare ourselves to defeat the odds.

Finally, if parents do not exert more pressure on their kids to stay in school, the war is lost. In the end, it is only up to us.

[Photo from palantepov.com]

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3 Responses to “Cuts in Education Will Increase Latino Unemployment”

  1. Latins = The original tribe of Latium near Rome (modern day Lazio area). Some of their dnnecedasts, combined with a partial Trojan ancestry per Virgil’s Aeneid, went on to build Rome. Later the term Latin was applied to all the territories of the Roman Empire which spoke a language derived from Latin. In their own languages (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, French), they call themselves Latino. The Italians are the closest modern relatives of the original Latins. In the Roman Empire, the others have lineage from Roman colonizers, but in Spain the people are also part Celtiberian, the French are also part Gaul, the Portuguese are part Lusitanii, but they all have a Latin lineage, and their culture is derived in some way from their Roman roots. It shows in the style of thinking, the family structure, the relationship with parents and elders, etc, sometimes in their physical similarity to Italians but not always. So I think of them as second-generation Latins.The next (third) generation of Latinos are the people in countries where the second-generation Latins explored and colonized. So French Quebec is Latin, and the Spanish-speaking areas of Central South America and Caribbean plus the Portuguese-speaking Brazilians are Latins. This is mostly linguistic. Many people there are genetically Latin by ancestry, but many are Native American instead and have their own culture. Some have combined lineages, and some descend from Africa or other immigrants from anywhere in the world. Nevertheless, the most Latin families in Latin America usually have ancestors from Spain and Portugal, and sometimes Italy. It reflects in the type of family and its relationships, its values, culture, etc.Among the Latinos, the Spanish-speaking subset are Hispanic (those who speak the language of Hispania). Again this is mostly a linguistic term rather than an ancestral one. Some may have true Hispanic and Latin heritage and some may not, or some are partial.So an Italian is definitely a Latin (the original). In Italian that would be Latino. In the US most people think of Latinos as people coming from Latin America, where many people are truly Latinos but there are many people with other ancestries that are totally unrelated. But they all officially speak Hispanic (Spanish) which is the legacy of the Spanish Empire, which in turn has the legacy of the Roman Empire, which in turn was initiated by the tribe of Latium.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Education Cuts Will Increase Latino Unemployment | NewsTaco - April 28, 2011

    [...] At 17.7 percent Connecticut has the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation with Latinos at the lead. Only Rhode Island, with 21.8 percent unemployment, and Nevada, 18.6 percent, have a higher jobless rate for Latinos than Connecticut. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor titled “The Hispanic Labor Force in the Recovery,” the state has lost roughly 94,000 jobs from 2008 through 2010.  As of March the overall unemployment rate  in the U.S. for Latinos is 11.9 percent. [...]

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