The Wage Structure of Latino Origin Groups across Generations
Richard A. Fry, Pew Hispanic Center
B. Lindsay Lowell, Georgetown University
Latinos are the largest minority group in the U.S. work force. We analyze in detail the determinants of the wages of Latinos of Mexican origin, Central/South Americans, and Puerto Ricans, and compare the wage structure facing these workers to the white and Black worker wage structure. The wage structure facing second and third and higher generation Latinos is very similar to the wage structure of third and higher generation white workers. Unlike African American workers, more than half of the native Latino/white wage gap can be accounted for by the lower educational attainment and potential experience of native Latino workers. The analysis also explicitly examines the wages of immigrant Latinos that arrived in the U.S. early in their childhood. The wages of immigrant Latinos that are educated in the U.S. do not approach native-born Latino wage levels. Latino child immigrants are not “near-native” in their labor market outcomes.