83 percent of Latinos in that heavily car-dependent state name gas prices as a source of financial hardship. This comes despite their willingness to carpool and purchase fuel-efficient vehicles.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Add to this the effects of the recession:
“[The percentage increase in unemployment] was highest among foreign-born Latinos [at] 58.3 percent, or 348,000 persons. Unemployment among native-born Latinos increased by 49.1 percent, [or] 329,000 persons.”
And Latino entrepreneurs haven’t fared any better. The Census reports that in 2007 there were 2.3 million Latino-owned firms in the United states that employed 1.9 million workers.
The vast majority of Latino-owned enterprises are heavily petroleum dependent—almost one-third of these businesses are in construction and repair, maintenance, personal, and laundry service sectors. An additional 200,000 firms are transportation and warehousing enterprises. These types of businesses often rely on gasoline-fueled transportation and heavy machinery.
The good news? That gas prices are expected to drop 50 cents by summer’s end.
Follow Victor Landa on Twitter: @vlanda
[Photo by Lawrence Leonard Gilbert]