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Study: Latino GDP Outgrows US Economy by 70 Percent

Image: Study: Latino GDP Outgrows US Economy by 70 Percent
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By    |   Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 06:18 PM

Latinos had an overall U.S. economic growth rate of 2.9 percent over the past five years – 70 percent higher than the non-Latino U.S. rate of 1.7 percent, according to a new study.

The Latino community, representing 55 million or 17 percent of the U.S. population, has become an economic juggernaut. The study conducted by the Los Angeles-based Latino Donor Collaborative finds that in 2015 Latinos contributed $2.13 trillion to the American economy. If this group was ranked among nations, they would have the seventh-largest gross domestic product in the world.

Some Latino leaders argue that President Donald Trump's tough immigration policies could endanger Latino economic growth and hurt the overall U.S. economy.

"Negative immigration policy as economic policy is a bad policy," Sol Trujillo, co-founder and chairman of the Latino Donor Collaborative, told Newsmax. The Collaborative is a non-partisan group that seeks to educate the public on the positive impact Latino-Americans are making on U.S. society and business.

The figure contributed to an overall GDP of $18.04 trillion for the United States – and the Latino rate outpaced those of India, Italy, Brazil, and Canada.

"We really do need to understand who comes into this country and who leaves this country, but it really shouldn't mean that you don't want people coming in," Trujillo said.

"To just shut off the pipeline, that doesn't work.

"We do need an improved immigration policy, but it's more about who we're letting come in.

"We have a big growth opportunity in this country and we should be feeding it, incentivizing it so that we can keep that dynamic in this country."

The document – the "Latino Gross Domestic Product Report: Quantifying the Impact of American Hispanic Economic Growth" – is based on an analysis of data from the Commerce Department and the Labor Department.

It also revealed:

  • Besides the U.S. rate, the Latino GDP also surpassed the national GDP rates of China, Japan, Germany, the U.K. and France.
  • Latino workforce participation grew by 70 percent, or nearly 2.5 million, during the period. By contrast, the non-Latino workforce shrunk by 4,000 workers.
  • More than 6.3 million Latinos were added to the U.S. population over the period – and nearly all of them were Americans. Eighty-one percent were born in the U.S., while 19 percent had become naturalized citizens. The nation's non-Latino population fell by 625,256.
  • Latinos aged 18-24 are strongly represented in the U.S. military: Marines, 25.7 percent; Army, 22.2 percent; Air Force, 15.2 percent; Navy, 13.9 percent; and Coast Guard, 13.7 percent.

The findings "put Latino participation in the U.S. on a level that is understandable," David Hayes-Bautista, a UCLA professor and study co-author, told Newsmax.

The report dispels many of the stereotypes of Latinos in the United States, he said.

"The bottom line: Latinos are important to the GDP of this country – and it cuts out all the other noise."

The study does not specify what percentage of the GDP is generated by illegal immigrants, Hayes said, noting federal data do not indicate legal status.

The Pew Research Center reports that the number of illegal Mexican immigrants declined by 1 million between 2005 and 2014, according to the report.

"We know that they are immigrants, but we don't know their status," Hayes said.

Immigration has played a key role in shaping these numbers, Trujillo and Hayes told Newsmax.

Latino immigration peaked between 1965 and 1990, but since 2005 "immigration has been virtually zero-sum," Hayes said.

"Immigration as a growth pattern has stagnated – and the growth has been based on the fertility rate."

Therefore, these younger Latinos – "over 90 percent are born here" – are replacing aging Baby Boomers in the workforce who are retiring, he said.

They speak English and are better educated than their parents, who generally emigrated from other countries.

"It's a very different labor force than their parents," Hayes said.

These Latinos also work in a wide variety of jobs, not just in the agricultural and service industries, Trujillo said.

"We all want growth," he told Newsmax. "We all can talk about more manufacturing and more jobs, but you have to have workers to go with it.”

President Trump's immigration agenda could threaten Latinos as a catalyst of broader economic prosperity.

"If you just round them up and dump them on the other side of the border," Hayes said, referring to Mexicans, "it will take a huge whack out of the U.S. GDP."

Further, the question of assimilation is moot, he and Trujillo said, as most Latinos are now U.S.-born or naturalized.

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Latinos had an overall U.S. economic growth rate of 2.9 percent over the past five years – 70 percent higher than the non-Latino U.S. rate of 1.7 percent, according to a new study.
Latino, GDP, growth, study
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2017-18-06
Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 06:18 PM
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