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All Work, Low Pay: Latina Wage Gap in NJ

This study highlights the important work Hispanic Women’s Resource Centers perform in Latino communities across the state, addressing the wage gap and helping families enter the middle class,” said Dr. Jesselly de la Cruz, executive director of the Latino Action Network Foundation. “The case for investing in New Jersey’s Latina women is clear. We look forward to working with Governor Murphy and the Legislature on increasing investment in this critical program so that more New Jersey families can benefit from these community resources.

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Finding Work: With limited professional networks in the U.S., the women often turn to

family and friends (48%), their HWRC (20%), or temporary agencies (18%) for job leads.

Many settle for low-wage jobs as housecleaners or food service workers.

 Facing Barriers: The women cite limited English proficiency (46%), lack of childcare

access (30%), immigration status (14%), transportation issues (13%), and

racism/discrimination (13%) as the five biggest obstacles to finding a job that pays

better. (Percentages do not add to 100% as many women face multiple challenges.)

  • Scraping By: Most of the women (83%) earn just enough money for basic expenses, though many (38%) are stretching themselves even thinner by sending money to struggling family members in the U.S. or in their home country.

  • Feeling Sick: Few of the women (7%) have paid time off to care for themselves or a loved one, sometimes going to work sick to avoid losing a day’s pay. Most women (64%) did not know about New Jersey’s earned sick leave and paid family leave policies.

  • Always Working: Only four of the 69 women have enough time for leisure activities, and only two women have the money to do anything fun. Their lives are a treadmill of going to work, caring for family members, and trying to make ends meet.

  • Looking Ahead: Many women cite learning English as their #1 personal goal (29%), and some have enrolled in English as a Second Language classes at their HWRC. The women also express hope of owning a home (28%), advancing their education (22%), finding a stable career (20%), and attaining legal status (19%) among other goals.


Republished by New Jersey Hispano (en español)

Republished by WNET Thirteen (NYC)

Republished by the Daily Record

Reporte Hispano (en español)

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