Tuesday, August 20, 2013
This Bureau of Labor Statistics Spotlight by Abraham T. Mosisa highlights the labor market characteristics of foreign-born workers using data from the Current Population Survey (CPS). The foreign born are persons who reside in the United States but who were born outside the country or one of its outlying areas to parents who were not U.S. citizens. The foreign born include legally admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants. The survey data, however, do not separately identify the numbers of persons in these categories. The native born are persons born in the United States or one of its outlying areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam or who were born abroad of at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen. Comparable data on nativity have been collected as part of the CPS since 1996.
Among the findings:
Foreign-born workers represented 16.1 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2012.
The percentage of foreign-born workers in the U.S labor force has grown since 1996.
Hispanics made up nearly half of the foreign-born labor force in 2012.
From 2008 to 2012, the jobless rates of the foreign born and the native born were about the same.
Foreign-born workers tend to earn less per week than native-born workers.
Regardless of nativity, Whites and Asians earned more per week than Blacks and Hispanics.
Weekly earnings for the foreign born and native born were higher for those with more education.