Maine Hispanics called ‘invisible’

Posted April 23, 2009, at 11:33 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A new study examining the economic impact of Hispanics in Maine says that from 1997 to 2002, business ownership by Hispanics increased by 34 percent and revenues by 117 percent.

A report presented Thursday was prepared by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, a liberal advocacy group.

Census figures show that Maine’s Hispanic population grew by 67 percent from 2000 to 2007 and at last count totaled 15,656. The report’s authors said Hispanics have much to offer Maine in the labor force as the state’s predominantly white population ages and young people leave.

Juan Perez-Febles of the Labor Department’s migrant division said Hispanics comprise Maine’s largest minority, but still seems to be “invisible.”

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