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By the Numbers: Hispanic Women in the Workforce

Each year, the United States recognizes Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Month. In recognition of Hispanic women’s significant contributions to the labor force, here are six statistics demonstrating their growing influence as drivers of economic productivity and entrepreneurs.  

Chart showing that Hispanic women are making up an increasing portion of the U.S. labor force
text-only version of this graphic is available at the bottom of the page. 

Strong labor force participation

  • In 2016, there were 11.4 million Hispanic women in the civilian labor force. That’s 1 in 7 women, and 7.2 percent of the total labor force.
  • By 2024, Hispanic women’s participation is projected to increase to almost 14 million, or 8.5 percent of the total labor force.
  • Nearly 1 out of 3 Hispanic women were employed in service occupations in 2016, but managerial and professional occupations have had the largest increase in Hispanic women’s representation since 2000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


Chart showing labor force participation rates for different demographics
text-only version of this graphic is available at the bottom of the page. Labor force participation rates for most demographics are projected to decline slightly (due in part to a large number of retirees) but Hispanic women's participation is projected to increase.

A spirit of entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship among Hispanic women also has grown. In 2012, the most recent year for which data is available:

  • About 1 out of every 7 women-owned businesses was owned by a Hispanic woman.
  • Forty-four percent of all Hispanic owned businesses were owned by women, up from 34 percent in 2002.
  • In 2012, Hispanic women-owned businesses generated $78.7 billion in sales and employed over 470,000 people.

This National Hispanic Heritage Month, join us at the Women’s Bureau in celebrating Hispanic women’s vital contributions to the nation’s continued innovation and economic productivity. Find more resources and statistics on Hispanic women on the Women’s Bureau website.

Tracie Sanchez is a program analyst.



Graphic 1: Hispanic women make an important and growing contribution to the U.S. workforce. The background is of women workers representing different occupations. A bar chart shows Hispanic women's representation in the workforce over time: 3.6% in 1994, 5.2% in 2004, 6.9% in 2014, and projected 8.5% in 2024.



Graphic 2: A bar chart compares labor force participation rates in 2016 with projected rates in 2024 for different demographics as follows. 76% percent of Hispanic men were in the labor force in 2016 and 74.3% are projected to be in the labor force in 2024. 67.8% of non-Hispanic men were in the labor force in 2016 and 64.3% percent are projected to be in the labor force in 2024. 57.0% of non-Hispanic women were in the labor force in 2016 and 55.5% percent are projected to be in the labor force in 2024. All of those groups are projected to decline. However, Hispanic women's participation is projected to increase from 55.8% in 2016 to 57.4% in 2024 - the only demographic expected to increase.


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I worked for the same corporation for 12 years and 10 months. I loved my job , I was dependable, reliable and I knew with thoughts reflecting my days commitment of did I give all that I had ? Did I earn my pay today? I could say honestly, " yes I did". Although I now no longer work for that corporation I have taken a new direction to exploring being an entrepreneur. MY journey so far has been difficult and very deceptive in alot of ways with information when there's involvement with either former employers, training online colleges, social sites but to not try to explore and to not be afraid to give yourself is very very hard whether Hispanic or not. Women period have come along way and Hispanic women have made themselves known in these statistics. I'm glad to say the same.

Hispanic women are still badly underrepresented in Tech/STEM(Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) sectors. Women are generally severely underrepresented in Tech (The tech world is two percent female ) but when it comes to national minorities the situation is much worse. We need government programs to address this gap.

Good info..