Hispanic Women are Concerned About Economic Security and Support Policies to Address the Concern

Today is National Latina Equal Pay Day, so we thought we would look at how Latinas view the economy in 2016. A poll commissioned by the Center for American Progress and conducted by Latino Decisions surveyed 800 Hispanic women between April and May this year in four battleground states – Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia. Results were first posted on the CAP website and show that economic issues are front and center in the minds of Latinas as they think about the coming elections. 53% of Latinas are worried that they or someone in their household might lose their job in the next year.

When asked to name up to two “most important” issues facing Latinas entering the 2016 election, the economy in general (32%) and jobs/unemployment (20%) were mentioned by nearly half of the Latinas surveyed. They also identified Health care (26%) and immigration and deportations (21%) as the most important issues.

The economy is an important issue for Latinas as they face significant sources of work-related stress and hardship, specifically:

  • Low pay is a challenge for 61% of Latinas
  • A majority of Latinas report little opportunity for advancement and 42% report they are not allowed to work more hours
  • More than 40% of Latinas are unable to take time off if they or a family member gets sick, and they go unpaid if they decide to take time off when a child gets sick.


Not surprisingly, respondents were very supportive of a wide range of policies areas that might address many of these hardships and barriers in the workplace. 68% of Latinas believe the federal government should do more to enact into law policies like equal pay, sick leave, paid family and medical leave, and affordable child care. This support has electoral consequences: 71% of Latinas indicated their greater willingness to support elected officials or candidates who support a greater government role in these policy areas.

When asked about specific policy areas, policies aimed at pay equity, paid family leave and sick leave were viewed as the most helpful for Latinas.

  • 74% of Latinas favor up to 7 paid sick days per year
  • On family leave, 75% of Latinas favored some pay, up to 12 weeks, for a new child, serious illness, or serious illness in the family.
  • On pay equity, the support is also overwhelmingly strong for gender equity (77%) and for racial equity (74%).


In addition, support is strong among Latinas for the right to request a flexible, fair, and predictable work schedule (65%), for a universal public preschool program (67%), and for help to lower the costs of child care for lower and middle income families (71%).


Latino Decisions interviewed 800 Hispanic women and 800 black women who are registered to vote across four 2016 battleground states: Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, and Florida.  Interviews were collected from a random selection of online respondents and all women confirmed they were registered to vote before participating in the survey. Overall, the sample of 800 Hispanic women has a credibility interval of +/- 3.4 percentage points, as does the sample of 800 black women.  Each state sample of 200 Black women or 200 Hispanic women has a credibility interval of +/-6.9 percentage points, and more caution should be used when interpreting results with smaller sample sizes.