Until the mid-70s, the U.S. government used the term Hispanic to encompass all people who have Latin American ancestry. As sensitivity to colonial exploitation in these areas increased, along with resistance to implicit assumptions that Hispanics are white, the term Latino/Latina replaced Hispanic. In later years, the need for more gender-inclusive terminology has led to the use of the term “Latinx.”
According to Pew Research Center, the term Latinx coincides with a global movement to introduce gender-neutral nouns and pronouns into many languages whose grammar has traditionally used male or female constructions. In the United States, the first use of Latinx appeared more than a decade ago and was then added to the English dictionary in 2018. The term Latinx is used to encompass as many citizens as possible who share a Latin American heritage, regardless of gender identity. Latin America is defined as all countries in Central and South America, Mexico, Caribbean Island nations and territories that share a Spanish heritage.
According to data from the Iowa State Data Center, the Latinx population will make up 12.1% of Iowa's population by 2050. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Latinx population is projected to triple in size nationally by 2050. Brand marketers that get Latinx outreach right now stand to benefit for decades to come.
The unemployment rate of Iowa Latinx residents in 2019 was 6.2%. In comparison, the State of Iowa's unemployment rate was 3.7%.
Iowa's Latinx Population Stats
- 140.7% increase in the Latinx population from 2000 to 2019
- Latinx have one of the highest concentration of preschoolers among other races or ethnic groups
- 23.7 was the median Latinx age in 2019
- 76.9% of Iowa Latinx ages 16 and over were in the labor force in 2019, compared to the 66.9% of all Iowans aged 16 and over in the labor force
Benefits of Hiring Latinx Employees
- Growing population: As of 2019, Latinx people represent 18% of the total U.S. population at 60 million strong. Employers can access this large pool of untapped talent for their talent needs by focusing on this population.
- Younger median age: The median age of the Latinx population in the U.S. is 27 which is 10 years younger than the general population, leading to longer career possibilities.
- Educated population: According to Pew Research Center data, a higher percentage of Latinx people are enrolling in colleges than ever. In 2014, 35% (2.3 million) of Latinx people ages 18 – 24 were enrolled in a two- or four-year college up from 22% in 1993.
- Bilingual benefits: Bilingual Latinx workers can add value and a competitive edge for global companies doing business in Spanish-speaking countries.
- Diversity within the population: The broad Latinx community is not monolithic. There is a wide heritage variety among Latinx people, with roots in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia, El Salvador, Cuba, Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries. The cultural and talent resources of this population are impressive.
- Reach untapped markets: Latinx purchasing power is roughly $1.38 trillion, about 15% of United States' total purchasing power. Latinx workers help companies better understand and serve this significant consumer market.
Attracting and Retaining Talent
- Canvas – Nine Ways to Recruit More Hispanic and Latinx Talent
- Handshake – Want More Latinx Candidates? Try These Three Hiring Strategies
- Hispanic Executive – How to Recruit and Develop Latino Talent
- Have a targeted recruitment strategy for Hispanic workers.
- Build relationships with local agencies that serve the Hispanic population.
- Post your jobs with Latinx-serving agencies, ethnic media, ethnic radio, TV (if available), print media, social media, etc.
- Have employee referral programs with incentives.
- Provide sponsorships to Latinx serving agencies.
- Provide leadership and professional development programs to targeted individuals to fast-track Latinx employees to leadership opportunities.
- Provide mentoring opportunities.
- Create an employee/associate resource group and provide support to employees. Listen to their concerns, get their feedback and continue to build inclusive workplaces where all employees feel welcomed, included and like they belong in your company culture.
- Summer Health Professions Education Program – SHPEP
- Latino Heritage Internship Program – LHIP