March 9, 2017
PHILADELPHIA—Today, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) experts unveiled an economic policy agenda for Pennsylvania’s Latinos during a roundtable discussion where they were joined by community leaders representing Latino coalition group Ceiba and NCLR Affiliate El Concilio. The agenda examined the marked progress Latinos in Pennsylvania have made in areas such as health and financial security, and how these gains have bolstered the economic stability of the Keystone State. During the roundtable, NCLR policy experts released a new fact sheet titled “Latinos in Pennsylvania: Protecting and Defending Progress in the Keystone State,” and discussed how key findings reflect how Latinos have helped drive economic growth in the state, as well as the harmful impact a reversal of critical federal policies and protections could have on the state’s continued prosperity.
Between 2011 and 2015, passage of common-sense policies promoting financial access and opportunity helped improve the economic outlook for many communities hardest hit by the recession. In Pennsylvania alone, the creation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program resulted in 21,000 Latinos receiving work authorization, leading to a more robust labor force overall. Passage of a bipartisan tax bill that made expansions to the Earned Income Tax Credit (ETC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent helped lift millions of vulnerable families from poverty. In fact, about 10 percent of Pennsylvania households received the refundable CTC in 2013, helping working families, many of whom are Latino, earn a much-needed income boost.
Indicators measuring the economic progress of Latinos in Pennsylvania also pointed to gains in the rate of homeownership and reduced unemployment. Findings from the state fact sheet showed an increase in the the number of Latino homeowners in Pennsylvania, which rose by 10 percent between 2011 and 2015. During the same four-year period, the rate of Latino unemployment dropped from 10.5 percent to 7.4 percent, while the Hispanic labor force participation rate surpassed the state average. Latino entrepreneurs also experienced gains as the number of Latino-owned businesses in the state increased by 53 percent between 2007 and 2012.
These strides have helped strengthen the Keystone State’s economy. However, federal legislative proposals that threaten hardworking immigrants, dismantle health coverage gains, and disrupt sound economic policies that have put many Latinos on the path to economic recovery could severely undermine the outlook and health of Pennsylvania’s economy.
“NCLR is encouraged by the strides Latino Pennsylvanians have made since the recession, in large part due to their hard work, and the federal and state-level policies that have broadened economic opportunities for many and opened doors to a financially secure future,” said Rafael Collazo, NCLR’s Director of Political Campaigns. “Despite this, there’s still much to do to continue expanding economic growth in our community, and that work begins by defending the policies that have led to this progress. We also must continue to ensure that new policies are addressing the community’s needs and helping to boost—rather than jeopardize—those gains.”
Read the full findings of the report here.
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to build a stronger America by creating opportunities for Latinos. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.