Rochester does not have a huge number of workers with limited English skills. Brookings Institution compiled statistics for 89 metro areas. Rochester ranks 76th in the percentage of limited English proficient (LEP) workers – 3.6 percent. That’s still more than 26,000 people working in our area who do not speak English well. This group has also grown 20 percent since 2000.
This group is diverse. In the Rochester area, they tend to be more highly-educated than the U.S. as a whole. More than half had completed high school and more than 15 percent had college degrees.
In Rochester, Spanish is the most common language of LEP workers at 37 percent, followed by Asian languages at 33 percent and Indo-European languages at 24 percent.
Nearly one-fourth of LEP workers in Rochester have manufacturing jobs. Food services, health and social services and retail are the next largest categories of jobs for LEP workers. Their median earnings are $28,000.
Sixty-three percent of working-age LEP adults in Rochester are in the labor force, less than the national rate of 71 percent.
Why do we care? Brookings reports:
English proficiency is an essential gateway to economic opportunity for immigrant workers in the United States. Yet access to acquiring these skills is persistently limited by a lack of resources and attention. Increasing investment in adult English instruction—through more funding, targeted outreach, and instructional innovations—would enhance the human capital of immigrants that could lead to more productive work and better outcomes for their children. Given the large number of LEP workers in the United States and the fact that virtually all of the growth in the U.S. labor force over the next four decades is projected to come from immigrants and their children, it is in our collective interest to tackle this challenge head on.
Links of the Day:
– The state is investing an astonishing $750 million dollars into SolarCity in Buffalo, in a bid to attract 3,000 jobs.
– This makes total sense. If SolarCity flops, it only has to pay back $41 million to the state.
– “Cuomo didn’t so much attract SolarCity to Buffalo as he did raid the public treasury to make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.”
– Morelle on state’s huge Buffalo investment IN ONE COMPANY: “I see it as complementary” to Rochester.
– About Rochester’s low unemployment rate: The labor force shrank.
– The U.S. is deporting children of parents who are here legally.
– Maybe Gabby Giffords is so hot on gun control…because she was shot in the head.
Help Fight Poverty:
— Rachel Barnhart (@rachbarnhart) September 23, 2014