Data Dive: Move over, baby boomers. Here come the Hispanic millennials

Data Dive: Move over, baby boomers. Here come the Hispanic millennials.

Latino leaders and immigration reform supporters gather at Farrand Field on the campus of the University of Colorado to launch a voter registration campaign to mobilize Colorado's Latino, immigrant and allied voters October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Evan Semon

Much demographic hoopla has been made about 10,000 baby boomers hitting the magic "retirement age" of 65 every day. But what about the million American-born Hispanics teenagers who hit 18 each year?

A new study on the Latino Effect on Economic Growth says this coming wave of workers will be a key engine of the U.S. economy between now and 2034. The number of Latino men and women in the workforce has risen 14 percent to 26.1 million, according to the report from NERA Economic Consulting. By 2034, the projection is for Hispanics to make up 41.4 percent of the workforce.

"As a percentage, it gets larger every day," says Sol Trujillo, Chair of the Latino Donor Collaborative, which commissioned the report in conjunction with the Royal Bank of Canada.  

What this means for the workforce of the future is that the majority white population of baby boomers is being replaced on a daily basis by younger, more diverse workers.


Currently, Hispanic workers are concentrated in lower-paying service , construction and transportation industries, while other workers make up a greater proportion of management and professional jobs.

Hispanics are over-represented to the largest degree in construction and agriculture, and under-represented in the technology, education and public administration sectors. In the coming years, Trujillo expects these numbers to get turned on their heads.

Hispanics millennials entering the workforce are better educated and more entrepreneurial than the economic refugees who came in with a large cohort of immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, Trujillo said. The new generation has a high-school drop-out rate of 10 percent, which is on par with the national average and a huge improvement from a 50 percent drop-out rate 20 years ago. The rate of Hispanics going to college now beats the national average.

Trujilo sees these demographics in action around the country. He was just speaking at an event in Detroit and met a group of GM employees. An engineering team was there - led by a Hispanic man who was in his 40s, and filled out with a group of robotics experts in their 30s who were born in Mexico.

“That’s what I want to see for our national economy,” Trujillo said.