The report measures economic status and analyzed key data including labor force participation numbers, business ownership, and degree attainment, among others.  

News Release

NCLR Releases Report and Hosts Forum on the State of the Economy for Latinos in Florida

Report highlights progress, existing challenges to economic success

May 24, 2016

Camila Gallardo
(305) 215-4259

MIAMI—Today NCLR (National Council of La Raza) was joined by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and NCLR Affiliate Hispanic Unity of Florida at a morning roundtable and news conference where findings of an NCLR report that analyzes how Hispanics are faring economically in Florida were released.

The report, titled “Latinos in the Sunshine State: Building a Brighter Economic Future,” finds that while Latinos have made economic strides, a growing number of Hispanics in the state face mixed progress, stalled growth, and some setbacks that continue to prevent them from achieving long-term economic progress and stability. During the morning roundtable, community leaders, private sector representatives, and nonprofit groups came together to discuss the existing challenges and potential solutions so that together, with NCLR, they can improve the economic outlook for Hispanic Floridians. Both the press conference and the roundtable were moderated by Bernadette Pardo, Univision radio show host and columnist.

Florida is home to the nation’s third-largest Latino population—almost 4.8 million. That number is expected to grow, enough so that by 2028, Florida is poised to become a majority-minority state. A number of demographic characteristics influence a state’s economic situation, and Florida, with its significant Hispanic population, could provide critical lessons for other states preparing for coming demographic shifts. The report relied on U.S. Census data from the state level to measure economic status and analyzed key data including labor force participation numbers, business ownership, and degree attainment, among others.

“We are very encouraged to find that Hispanics in Florida continue to be an important factor in driving the state’s economic recovery and growth,” said Eric Rodriguez, Vice President, NCLR. “However, despite population growth and the many contributions to Florida’s economy, policymakers have underinvested in targeted programs and policies that promote the Latino community’s long-term prosperity. This is why NCLR feels strongly about helping to support and spearhead efforts to engage and empower more Latinos in Florida so that they can play a larger role in advancing the policies that affect so many facets of their daily lives,” concluded Rodriguez.

Since establishing a formal regional presence in Florida, NCLR has worked with local and state partners for the betterment of the Hispanic community. Through a decade-long civic engagement effort that involves registering eligible Hispanics to vote, as well as promoting enrollment in the health care exchange market, the organization has committed itself to shaping a better future for Hispanic Floridians.

“The NCLR Affiliate Network in Florida reflects the diversity and the power of our Latino community,” said Felipe Pinzon, Vice President of Programs, Hispanic Unity of Florida. “As an NCLR Affiliate, Hispanic Unity is dedicated to empowering more Latino working families to realize their dreams for a more stable and prosperous future.”

“Latino-owned businesses are the engine of Florida’s economic development,” said Lourdes Mola, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando. “It is our responsibility to invest in our community’s future. The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) appreciates the partnership with NCLR to advance key priorities for working families such as closing the health care gap in Florida. We have also partnered to make sure that our voices are heard as the HCCMO focuses on civic advocacy, voter engagement, and education.”

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

This report was made possible through generous support from the Prudential Foundation. The views and conclusions expressed here are those of NCLR alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our funders.