Haitians - Economy

As mentioned above, Haitians who settled in North America before the 1970s often started small businesses or found skilled or professional employment. They either became part of mainstream economy or continued to serve the Haitian community. Those who have arrived since the 1970s include some with business experience in Haiti who have opened businesses in Haitian communities. But most of the recent immigrants have been poor and uneducated and work at lowlevel, low-paying jobs. Unskilled factory work and maintenance work are common for men, and many women work as domestics. Many Haitians live in poverty in slum neighborhoods, often sharing dwelling units and pooling resources to help pay the various legal and travel costs involved in bringing relatives to North America. In some cities, economic self-help organizations and church or government-backed programs have developed to provide economic and other assistance. For undocumented immigrants, who seek to avoid government contact, finding and holding regular employment is even more difficult. Among Haitians immigrating to Florida, some have become migrant farm workers, following the crops as they ripen up and down the eastern United States.

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