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Foreign-Born Latinos Make Progress on Wages


Aired 4/19/09

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center says Latinos born outside the United States earn more now than they did ten years ago. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

From 1995 to 2005, the number of foreign-born Latinos at the lowest end of the pay scale dropped by 6 percent.

Those workers' wages jumped to between $8.50 and $16 an hour. Many newly arrived, foreign-born workers slotted straight into jobs that pay more than $8.50 an hour.

Whereas in 1995, two-thirds of recently arrived workers earned low wages, just half did in 2005. Rakesh Kochar is with the Pew Hispanic Center that published the study.

Kochar: This progress, in part, is because new arrivals in 2005 were older, better educated and more likely to be employed in construction than in agriculture.

Kochar says construction is the primary employer for newly arrived Latinos.

He says immigrant workers' gains did not come at the expense of other workers.

Amy Isackson, KPBS News.


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