Economic Empowerment

At the midway point since issuing its quadrennial Hispanic Public Policy Agenda in 2008, the NHLA assessed the progress made thus far in addressing the major public policy issues facing the Hispanic community nationally across six broad issue areas. Below is the Executive Summary regarding economic empowerment. Click here to download the full report.

With the U.S. facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and Hispanic Americans suffering the greatest percentage of job loss and slashed wages among minority communities, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) averted Depression-level unemployment by creating new jobs and protecting existing ones, spurring economic activity, and providing tax breaks to millions of working families and businesses. The law provided $228 billion in tax cuts, $224 billion for education, job training and healthcare programs, and $275 billion in federal contracts, grants, and loans.

Large segments of the Hispanic community continue to struggle through the recovery while vital programs that assist families in meeting their basic needs are under threat of budget cuts. Short-sighted cuts that cripple the Hispanic community’s recovery will have a negative ripple effect on the entire nation’s fragile economic recovery.

Other action by the President and Congress included:

  • ARRA and other legislation, as well as Administrative initiatives, targeted assistance to homeowners and communities to alleviate some of the worst effects of the housing market crisis.
  • Four extensions of emergency unemployment compensation benefits.
  • The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to seek justice when facing workplace discrimination.