While Latinas play a critical role in the workforce, they are often paid less than their peers. In 2021, the most recent data available, Latinas working full time, year round were typically paid just 57 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.This gap in pay typically amounts to a loss of $2,477 every month, $29,724 every year, and $1,188,960 over a 40-year career.
As bad as these losses are, the wage gap for full-time, year-round workers doesn’t fully reflect the economic disparities faced by Latinas. The full-time, year-round wage gap leaves out those Latinas who were unemployed or out of the labor force for part of 2021, or who worked part time, even if they wanted full-time work. This is especially significant given that the labor market shifted dramatically in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and its effects continued in 2021. Millions of jobs were lost, particularly among women working in low-paid jobs, while other women were forced into part-time work as they lost access to full-time work or needed to adjust their schedules to care for children or other loved ones. When part-time and part-year workers are included in the comparison, Latinas were typically paid only 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men in 2021.
Racist and sexist wage gaps have always existed – but the pandemic drove new, harmful economic fissures along racial and gender lines. As we continue to recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19, we must address our long underinvestment in economic and social infrastructure and the inadequate protections that left Latinas stranded at the intersection of the racial, ethnic, and gender inequities laid bare by the pandemic.