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October 23, 2014

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Poll: Hispanics remain skeptical about economic recovery

Majority of Hispanics are concerned about foreclosures, paying monthly bills

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

A for sale sign stands outside a bank-owned home in North Las Vegas, Feb. 18, 2009.

The majority of Hispanics say their finances have gotten worse or stayed the same in the last five years, and most are concerned for their economic future according to a new poll.

Hispanics as a group suffered deeper loses from the Great Recession than other groups and while economists are pointing to signs of improvement in the U.S. economy, a new poll from National Council of La Raza and Latino Decisions finds widespread anxiety among Hispanics.

“(A) very large percentage of Latino households continue to worry about unemployment, foreclosure and having enough to pay their monthly bills,” Latino Decisions pollster Matt Barreto said in a blog post detailing the poll results.

A combined 52 percent of Hispanics say their personal finances either got worse or stayed the same over the past five years, while 37 percent said their finances improved.

More than half of the 500 registered voters polled say they are concerned that someone in their household will lose their job and confront unemployment. Half of respondents also said they have worried about paying monthly bills on multiple occasions in the last year. A third of Hispanics said they were worried about losing their home to foreclosure.

During the recession Hispanics and blacks were disproportionately affected by unemployment and foreclosures. During the recession the gap between the median household income of whites versus that of Hispanics and blacks expanded.

“While these economic challenges linger, Latinos are still optimistic about achieving the American Dream,” Barreto said. “And according to Latino voters, two key components of the American Dream are owning a home, and owning your own business.”

Approximately two-thirds of Hispanics said they were concerned about the lack of career advancement opportunities and not earning enough to pay basic expenses. More than half said they would be more likely to vote for a politician who supported an increase in the minimum wage.

The poll showed overwhelming support for federal housing initiatives among Hispanics, with more than 80 percent saying they would back tax credits for homeowners, programs to facilitate obtaining a mortgage and homeownership counseling and education.

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