A new poll points to how in spite of the economic recovery, many Latino families aren’t confident about regaining their own economic footing.
The poll was released Monday by the National Council of La Raza, which is holding its annual conference this week in downtown Los Angeles. The study, conducted by NCLR and the Latino Decisions polling firm, took in the attitudes of 500 Latino registered voters.
More than half of those surveyed earlier this month said they are anxious about someone in their household losing a job; half said that during the past year, they feared not having enough to pay basic monthly bills. And in spite of the housing recovery, a third said they still worry about losing their homes to foreclosure.
“Only 37 percent of Latinos, barely over one third, say their financial situation has gotten better," said pollster Matt Barretto of Latino Decisions. "In fact, 25 percent, a quarter of Latinos, say things have actually gotten worse."
Another 37 percent surveyed said their financial picture has remained static since the downturn.
Latinos and African American families were disproportionately hit during the housing crisis and ensuing recession, as many fell victim to predatory lending that cost them their homes. Several studies have shown a growing wealth gap between these Americans and non-Latino whites that has only widened since the recession began.
Yet many of the Latinos surveyed said they still hope to achieve what they see as the "American Dream." For 53 percent, the key to this is owning a home; 61 percent surveyed said it means owning a business. Almost all said a key component is creating opportunities for one's children.
The study also points to political opportunities for elected representatives: For example, 55 percent of those polled said they'd be more likely to vote for an elected official if he or she voted to increase the minimum wage. Sixty-seven percent said they don't earn enough to pay for basic expenses, while 65 percent said they lacked opportunities for career advancement at work.
More than four-fifths said they think the government should support programs that make it easier to obtain home mortgages, and that the government should provide tax credits for homeowners.
Read the entire study here.