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Latino Immigrants are the Key to Saving the U.S. Economy

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A new report by the nonprofit Latino Donor Collaborative (LDC), along with Cal Lutheran’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF), revealed that Latino’s economic contribution in the U.S. is not only outstanding, but it may also be the economy’s salvation post-pandemic. 

The report called the Latino economic output (or GDP) “breath-taking”, and reported that it had risen to $2.6 trillion in 2018, up from $2.3 trillion in 2017 and  $1.7 trillion in 2010. Moreso, it highlighted its impressive growth rate, which is responsible for 78 percent of the growth of the U.S. Labor force since the Great Depression even though Latinos only make up 18.3 percent of the population.

“If Latinos  living in the United States were an independent country, the U.S. Latino GDP would be the eighth largest GDP in the world,” the study said. “The Latino GDP is larger even than the GDPs of Italy, Brazil or South Korea.”

The 2020 LDC U.S. Latino GDP Report is the latest in a series of annual reports that began in 2017, which “seeks to provide a factual view of the large and rapidly growing economic contribution of Latinos living in the United States.” 

This year, the report focused intently on the coronavirus pandemic and how Latino workers have almost single-handedly been able to keep the U.S. economy from collapsing. In the study, the authors explain that the great number of Latinos who have been essential workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic, working  in construction, food, healthcare etc., “have kept the economy functioning.”

It is for this same reason, the authors argue, that the Latino population in the U.S. has been especially hard-hit by the coronavirus, because most of these jobs cannot be done from the safety of their home. But it is their impeccable work ethic, the authors argue, that keeps Latinos from abandoning their jobs and keeping the economy going. 

“And that work ethic, along with Latinos’ extraordinary family values, entrepreneurship, and perseverance, will lead the country out of the current crisis,” the authors wrote. “As we contemplate the years ahead and chart a path to recovery from the pandemic and the most severe economic downturn in the U.S. since World War II, Latinos will be a driver of recovery. As they have been for decades.”

Alexandra Tirado Oropeza is a Venezuelan journalist covering politics, immigration, entertainment and social justice. She moved to the U.S. in 2014 to pursue a Writing degree at The University of Tampa, and after graduating, she moved to Los Angeles where she works in broadcast and as a freelance writer. She’s passionate about equality, freedom of speech, art and dogs.