On their backs: Latinx Labor in the US
Curated by Erika Hirugami, MAAB.
In the United States today, there are 93 occupations in which 20% or more of workers are immigrants. These high-immigrant occupations are primarily, but not exclusively, lower-wage jobs that require relatively little formal education. Latinx individuals make up to 83.5% of the labor force handling said occupations.
Yet with statistics like this, current governmental policies aim to reduce legal immigration to the United States, with proposals to prioritize highly skilled and well-educated immigrants. Although nothing signals to the very tangible reality that the American Lifestyle is carrier on the backs of these immigrants, we could not afford our way of life if these often undocumented individuals were not a part of our economic system.
In 2017 Latinx accounted for 13.1 million of foreign-born people in the US Labor force. Each making only about 82.4% of the salary of their native-born counterparts. From day laborers to fruit pickers, nannies, street vendors, construction workers, gardeners, and housekeepers, each and every one of these individuals fulfills a low-wage job that requires little education, in turn granting the opportunity for this society to thrive while providing said individuals with a restrictive set of living rights.
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2019 • Exhibition in partnership with FOCA