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June 1994, Vol. 117, No. 6
Johanne Boisjoly and Greg J. Duncan
A ssessments of job losses during the recent recession consistently show that Hispanics were the biggest losers. For example, data from the 1992 Worker Displacement Survey reveal that the job displacement rate during the 5 years preceding the January 1992 interview was considerably higher for Hispanic workers (11.8 percent) than for either black (8.8 percent) or white (7.9 percent) workers.1
Among the reasons for this disparity were differences in the qualifications and skills of Hispanic, as opposed to non-Hispanic, workers. For example, in 1992, the fraction of 25- to 34-year-olds who had failed to complete high school was 3 times as high among Hispanics than within the population as a whole (41.5 percent versus 13.5 percent). Compared with non-Hispanics, Hispanic workers were more likely to be younger, to work in less skilled occupations, and to be employed in industries that might make them more prone to experience job losses.2
In this article, we investigate the reasons for the higher rate of job losses incurred by Hispanics using a new data source on the longitudinal labor market experiences of Hispanic workers: the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Gathered in annual interviews between 1990 and 1992, the data in this study provide information on job losses among representative samples of both Hispanic and non-Hispanic workers. Compared with the Worker Displacement Survey, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics' annual interviewing cycle shortens the recall period over which job losses are reported, resulting in a greater likelihood of providing much more accurate reports of job losses. The Panel Study also affords a well-measured set of demographic and employment conditions prior to possible job loss, as well as yielding information on the immigration status of Hispanic workers.
This excerpt is from an article published in the June 1994 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 See Jennifer M. Gardner, "Recession swells count of displaced workers," Monthly Labor Review, June 1993, pp. 14-23. The Worker Displacement Survey is a supplement to the Current Population Survey that is conducted biennially by the Employment and Training Administration.
2 Jesus M. Garcia, "The Hispanic Population of the United States: March 1992," Current Population Reports, Series P20-465RV (Bureau of the Census, 1993), table 1, p. 12.
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