LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A recent report outlined how Hispanic workers continue to experience a shortage of good jobs.

Although they tend to have a high employment rate across the U.S., certain nationalities tend to have a wage gap when it comes to gender and ethnicity.

Maria Castro recently began working at a restaurant near Desert Inn and Valley View.

“I was a little bit scared because it was different,” she said. “Before I worked for 15 years at a different restaurant and it was bad. This is new for me but I’m really happy.”

She told 8 News Now her job is a new opportunity and also came with a higher wage.

According to a recent report from the Center For American Progress, Hispanic workers, particularly those from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador face the largest pay gaps compared to non-Hispanics working in those fields.

Restaurant owner Eduardo Gonzalez said offering competitive wages to employees is hard for small businesses but he said it’s necessary to keep the staff from walking out.

“I always try to look around and see what the average salary is with competitors,” Gonzalez added. “If the employee is good, I’m not going to pay right away $20 an hour. If they show their work I can pay them higher because I want to keep a good employee than be switching employees every two weeks,”

Latino communities were one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic according to the report.
It also states those with darker skin said they faced discrimination and had a steeper climb to the middle class.

Castro told 8 News Now she disagrees and said it’s all about working hard to get ahead.

“There is a lot of work everywhere. If you want to work, come and try,” she added.

In the U.S. there are more than 60 million Latinos mainly Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans which is similar to the breakdown of nationalities in Southern Nevada.