Latinas leaving job market at higher rates than other demographics, report says

Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 1:46 PM MST
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(CNN) – While Friday’s jobs report shows a robust labor market, a record number of workers quit their jobs in 2021.

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found 4.3 million Americans quit in December alone.

The latest numbers come as data shows Latinas are exiting the workforce at higher rates than any other demographic, which has economists worried.

But for many women who quit during the pandemic, the decision is paying off.

The University of California, Los Angeles’s Latino Policy and Politics Initiative found that between March 2020 and March 2021, the number of Latinas in the workforce dropped by nearly 3%.

“Some of our most insightful and critical workers are going to be left out of the labor force and it’s going to be detrimental to all Americans,” said Sonja Diaz, founding executive director of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Researchers say the mass exodus has been caused by many women losing their jobs, with others leaving to focus on family needs, citing a lack of childcare support exacerbated by COVID-19.

For women like Erika Cruz, her six-figure tech job simply became unfulfilling. The thought of resigning was sparked while making TikTok videos, and she became the founder of Purpose Driven Latina.

“My account just kind of blew up,” she said. “Once I decided to leave, I had already had one successful round of my group coaching program, Purpose Driven Latina, and my work at that point was almost taking me away from this passion project.”

Cruz said her decision came with sacrifices, like moving in with her mom, who lost house cleaning jobs during the pandemic.

“It was hard to leave the job because essentially my mom depended on me,” Cruz said. “But I really had to trust my intuition.”

She’s not the only one. Personal finance expert Jully-Alma Taveras said more and more Latina clients are coming to her, wanting to create “job-exiting plans.”

“When we think about equal pay, Latinas are not making anywhere near that full dollar,” she said. “We’re talking about 57 cents to every white man’s dollar. So, it’s really tough for I think Latinas to kind of stick around.”

It’s a trend that has some economists worried and wondering how it could impact diversity in the workplace amid a national worker shortage.

“We need to have workers that are filling the types of jobs that are both available now and will be available in the near future,” Diaz said.

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