This is Progress: Hispanic Americans in the Economy
One of the hallmarks of this Administration has been its commitment to ensure that economic growth — focused on growing the economy from the middle class outward and on building ladders of opportunity for those working to get to the middle class — reaches every constituency and every corner of the country. As we mark Hispanic Heritage Month, a report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers shows the economic progress of the Hispanic community under the Obama administration.
When President Obama took office, the economy was in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, losing 800,000 jobs per month. But thanks to the resilience of the American people and to the President’s swift actions, our economy has experienced a historic turnaround — one that’s helped all families including our Hispanic families. Throughout his administration, the President has been focused on policies that lift all families, not just those at the top — from promoting job creation, to making sure that every American has access to quality health care, to reforms that strengthen education for all Americans.
As the report shows, these actions have paid off in real ways for Hispanic families.
Recently, Census Bureau data showed that the typical American household saw a $2,800 increase in income in 2015. While household income rose among all racial and ethnic groups, Hispanic Americans saw the largest gains, rising 6.1 percent for Hispanic households.
Under President Obama, the Hispanic community has seen both an increase in employment and a drop in poverty. The gap between the poverty rate for Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites closed by 3.6 percentage points during this Administration.
Unemployment among Hispanic Americans is now lower than it was before the recession. Not only did we make a comeback from a failing economy, we also moved forward.
President Obama has worked to give Latinos — and all Americans — greater control over their health care. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 4 million Hispanics now have health insurance who previously were uninsured. Further, 17 million Hispanics with private insurance now have access to expanded preventive services, including immunizations and certain cancer screenings with no co-pay or deductible. With expanded access to medical care, Hispanics are living longer than ever before.
Education is the cornerstone of investing in the future success of every community. Hispanic Americans made important gains during the last 8 years. More of us are graduating high school. College enrollment among Hispanics is up by more than 30 percent since the beginning of the Obama administration. And more of us are graduating college than ever before.
There is no question that there is much more to do to ensure that every family shares in our nation’s economic prosperity. But it is also increasingly clear that the kinds of change that we seek are attainable with the right policies and focused attention. You’ll find more in the report on the economic progress of the Hispanic community here.