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REPORT: LATINOS’ FUTURES UNCERTAIN

By Michelle Mittelstadt The Dallas Morning News

The destiny of the country’s 40 million Latinos remains "highly uncertain," complicated by language barriers and low participation in high-skilled jobs, education and health care coverage, according to a new study.

The future economic strength of a graying nation is intertwined with the well-being of a rapidly expanding, younger Latino population that will represent an ever larger share of the U.S. work force as baby boomers retire, the National Research Council said in a two-year study issued Wednesday.

The council, an arm of the National Academies of Science, identified a series of challenges confronting Latinos: overrepresentation in low-wage industries, insufficient English proficiency, illegal immigration status that results in lower pay, and health challenges among them.

But the study’s researchers identified education as the biggest hurdle, noting that Latinos have higher school dropout rates, lower college enrollment and less job training than the overall population in an economy ever more reliant on higher-skilled jobs.

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