Coalition members cited the Obama Administration’s most recent report on Hispanic employment in the federal government that showed that despite being the only ethnic or racial group underrepresented in the federal career workforce in comparison to the national civilian labor force, the percentage of Hispanics employed by the government in career jobs did not increase from June 2008 to June 2009. Worse yet, a comparison of OPM fourth quarter data from 2008 and 2009 indicate a net loss in the absolute number of Hispanics employed. This dismal hiring record occurred at a time when the Administration expanded the federal government by adding and filling approximately 100,000 new positions for the year ending December 2009.
Hispanics presently make up 8.0% of the federal career workforce yet make up 14.5% of the national civilian labor force. At the senior, policy-making levels of government, Hispanics make up a mere 3.6% of jobs in the career Senior Executive Service.
Hispanic leaders are concerned with the impact the crisis of underrepresentation is having on the Hispanic community. They estimate that the levels of underrepresentation equate to the loss of over 100,000 jobs and $5.5 billion in salaries alone each year. Moreover, the absence of Hispanic employees, especially at the policy-making levels of government, has a great impact on the delivery of programs and services that affect every aspect of life in Hispanic communities from education, health, housing, economic development, social justice, jurisprudence and more.
“We have done everything possible to draw the President’s attention to this crisis of underrepresentation, including presenting a comprehensive plan of action and a draft executive order to jump-start a White House-led diversity initiative for Hispanic hiring, to no avail. This Administration prefers to bury its head in the sand when it comes to fairness for Hispanics in career federal jobs”, said Gilbert Sandate, Chair, Coalition for Fairness for Hispanics in Government.
“The fact that over 70% of the Hispanic electorate voted for Barack Obama in the Presidential election, we believe the Hispanic community is impatient in the lack of action by this President midway through his Administration. Its time the White House begins equating promises with votes at the ballot box”, stated Dr. Edward Valenzuela, Coalition Co-Chair.