According to a new report by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the upcoming shift in U.S. workforce demographics will open up opportunities for Latino workers in the near future.
The report, which covers the Latino “skills gap,” highlights two distinct trends – baby boomers entering retirement in record numbers, creating a major void in the workforce, and 80 million millennials entering the workforce.
According to the State of Aging and Health in America, the last baby boomers will turn 65 in 2030 and one in five Americans (about 72 million people) will be considered an “older adult.”
The report states that “as the fastest-growing U.S.-born ethnic segment, Hispanics are a culturally rich, highly motivated demographic poised to address the void left by the baby boomers.”
While Latinos currently comprise 16% of the U.S. labor market, the report says that they will account for one out of every two new workers entering the workforce by 2025. Authors of the report suggest that as long as Latinos are equipped with the right tools and resources, they could be a boon to employers, particularly in areas with major skills shortages like the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.
“Our community must do something so that our young people are prepared for the job market of the future, so that they can embark on their careers and be successful,” said CHCI President and CEO Domenika Lynch. “We are committed to the idea that this report does not become another ‘white paper’ in Washington. We want it to be a call to action, and to show companies what they can do towards recruiting, training, and retaining Latino workers.”
Unfortunately, Latino college completion rates are still lagging behind those of other demographics. Among Hispanics between the ages of 25 and 29, only 15% have achieved a bachelor’s degree or higher. Deborah Santiago, chief operating officer of Excelencia in Education, believes that this issue should concern all Americans.
“If Latinos are limited in what they can achieve, this limits our entire economy,” she said. “Latino educational attainment should be seen as something with potential, as something with a significant ROI – that is an incentive for people to act.”