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Research by LBSU students showcases Latino economic impact

Leaders from Centro CHA, Inc., the Long Beach Economic Development department and Long Beach State economics department presented a report to City Council that showcased discrepancies in the Latino populations economic status Tuesday.

“We have misconceptions that Latino immigrants are taking jobs when in fact the data supporting is that they are creating jobs,” said Megan Ayana, a LBSU economics major.

The three groups researched this topic to provide more information about how Latino communities and their economic status impacts Long Beach.

“For years we have been telling the story of the needs of the Latino community, but we needed to be able to have data and a roadmap to help guide some of the decisions with our families and youth and children here in the city of Long Beach,” said Centro CHA employee Jessica Quintana.

The goal of the research conducted was to analyze and address economic status, education and healthcare rates for Latinos in the city.

The objectives of the project were to share the report with the community and to spark conversation among key policy considerations in the city. The goal was also to serve as a source to promote ongoing work and updates and to inform future research and decision making for the Latino community.

According to their findings, Latinos make make 14.7% less money than other races based on median household incomes, yet the immigrant community in Long Beach contributes to job development.

The study found that 52,000 Latinos in Long Beach have jobs and bring a total of $16.8 billion to the economy. Latinos also account for 20.6% of Long Beach’s total economic impact on the region.

The study also found 43% of the city’s population is Latino, yet Latinos make up 50% of the workforce in Long Beach.

According to LBSU economics professor Seiji Steinmetz, Latinos still make a lower household income than any ethnic group in the city.

The study reported the poverty rate among Latino families, is 16.4%, with 1 in 6 Long Beach Latino families living below the poverty line in comparison to the 9.8% of all other families living in poverty.

The research group urged the council to address these economic discrepancies.

“Moral of the story, Latinos work more than anybody else…and Latino immigrants generate a huge impact into our regional economy,” Benitez said.

Long Beach City Council will meet Tuesday, April 23 at 4 p.m. at Long Beach City Hall.

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