I spent Labor Day with President Obama in Detroit. As we looked ahead to his big speech tonight and discussed his plan to put all Americans back to work, he said to me:
“Hilda... as tough as things have been on Latino workers, I know our economic future depends upon them.”
I couldn’t agree more. Over the next four decades, Latinos are projected to account for more than two-thirds of this country’s population growth. Yet the current Latino unemployment rate remains unacceptably high at 11.3 percent. The President and I agreed that Congress must act now to help the nearly one million Latinos who’ve been looking for a job for six months or more.
The President’s jobs plan includes tax cuts to help a quarter million Latino-owned businesses and 25 million Latino workers. It includes skills training and summer job opportunities for Latino youth. And it extends unemployment benefits that will provide a lifeline to more than 1.1 million Latinos pounding the pavement every day looking for jobs.
I was raised in a working-class family. We didn’t have much growing up in a small community outside of Los Angeles. We worked for everything we had. We didn’t expect our government to solve our problems; we just asked for the chance to work hard to solve our own. That’s what the American Jobs Act will mean for millions of Latino families. By letting workers keep more of what they earn, by investing in our youth, rebuilding our schools and not giving up on our unemployed, President Obama is giving Latinos the tools we need to get our economy moving.
Take a look at the fact sheet below on exactly how the American Jobs Act will do that, just as soon as Congress acts:
Hilda Solis is Secretary of the Department of Labor.