Original URL: http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/1224hispanicsjobs24.html

2nd generation fared worse than other Hispanics in downturn
Associated Press
Dec. 24, 2003
Deborah Kong

They're generally more educated and speak better English than immigrants, but second-generation Hispanics had a tougher time in the economic downturn than their first-generation counterparts, a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center says.

A surge of young, U.S.-born Hispanics - the start of a wave of workers who will eventually replace retiring baby boomers - joined the working world just as the economy turned sour. That made things difficult as they competed for jobs against others with longer work records.

"What we're seeing here is the leading edge of this big population moving into the labor force," said Roberto Suro, director of the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center. "It's a very tough market for young Hispanic people. It's much tougher for the young, native-born than it is for immigrants."

Second-generation Hispanics, the U.S.-born children of people who immigrated to this country, wrestled with more than bad timing. With their higher levels of education, many have more ambitious career aspirations than immigrants, Suro said. But some lack the connections that could help propel them into good jobs. "They come from immigrant families where there is a limited knowledge of the U.S. and a limited knowledge of the labor force," he said.

Unemployment rates for the second generation rose to 10 percent at the end of 2002, higher than the rate for both immigrants and for third-generation Hispanics, which were at 7.2 and 6.6 percent, respectively, according to the center.

The center analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the end of 2000 to late 2002.