New Hispanic Migrant Destinations: A Tale of Two Industries

Emilio A. Parrado, Duke University
William A. Kandel, U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA)

Census 2000 data indicate high rates of Latino population growth in new urban and rural areas that previously had relatively little ethnic diversity and/or recent experience with foreign-born populations. The geographic extensiveness and rapidity of such growth raises questions about forces attracting migrants to new destinations and links between economic structural change and Hispanic population growth. Our conceptual framework applies dual-labor market theory to the construction and meat processing industries that are concentrated in urban and rural areas, respectively. Our analysis links Hispanic population growth to changing U.S. labor demand by examining industry transformations that attract Hispanic migrants to new destination areas. We contrast these forces across rural and metropolitan areas between 1980-1990 and 1990-2000 by modeling county-level change in Hispanic representation as a function of industrial composition. Finally, we assess the changing socioeconomic characteristics of the labor force in new areas of destination and derive labor market implications.

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Presented in Session 63: Key Demographic Changes among the U.S. Latino Population