Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Eduardo Porter has an interesting article in the N.Y. Times (here) today about how the housing slump has affected undocumented immigrant workers in the construction industry. It mentioned just how big a part of the construction labor market was composed of undocumented workers:
Illegal immigrants played a big if quiet part on the supply side of America’s housing boom. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, a research organization in Washington, immigrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries account for about one in five construction workers. Those who arrived since 2000 — who are likely to be unlawfully in the United States because they had virtually no way of immigrating legally — account for an estimated 7 percent of the construction work force. They were mostly pulled in by the building frenzy of the first half of the decade. According to the analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center, based on census data, Hispanic immigrants took 60 percent of the million new construction jobs created from 2004 to 2006. Those recently arrived took nearly half.