Immigrants are now a record share of U.S. workers. Here’s what to know.
Immigrants are apparently working, with new government data finding that last year nearly 1 in 5 workers were born outside the U.S. to parents who are not U.S. citizens, a record-high share of the labor force. represent.
This reverses an epidemic decline, when the share of foreign-born workers fell — an unusual reversal in a trend that has been increasing since at least 1996. The share of immigrants in the labor force rose to 18.1 percent last year, up from 17.4 percent. 2021, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a recent Reports
The findings come at a time when immigration is in the spotlight. Expiration of Title 42, an emergency immigration ban that allowed the United States to deport millions of immigrants from Mexico or their countries of origin because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, some states, viz Texas And FloridaMoving forward with new laws to crack down on immigration.
The previous dip coincided with a labor shortage.
But some economists have argued that the drop in immigration during the pandemic was actually one of the reasons for the tightening of the labor market over the past few years. This coincides with two other demographic trends that are squeezing the pool of available workers: Baby boomers are retiring in force. And the shrinking US birth rate.
“[P]Policies that encourage immigration, female labor participation or the adoption of new, productivity-enhancing technologies will determine the extent and persistence of labor supply challenges, Moody’s said in a recent research note. will emerge in the next business cycle.”
Immigration rose again last year, according to U.S. Census data, which showed the country saw its largest one-year increase in immigrants since 2010. Nearly 1 million people immigrated to the U.S. in 2022, up from its recent low of 376,000 in 2021. , agency noted.
Here’s what to know about the trend.
What is the unemployment rate for foreign-born workers?
Workers who were born outside the U.S. had a lower unemployment rate than native-born workers last year, the BLS said.
It noted that the unemployment rate for foreign-born workers in 2022 was 3.4 percent, compared to 3.7 percent for the U.S.-born.
The biggest difference was among men, with about 77% of immigrant male workers over the age of 16 in the workforce, compared with 66% of those born in the U.S., the analysis found.
What types of jobs do immigrants hold?
Foreign-born workers are more likely to work in service industry jobs, natural resources, construction and maintenance jobs than those born in the U.S., the government said. They are also more likely to work in production, transportation and material handling jobs.
In comparison, American-born workers are more likely to work in managerial and professional jobs.
How much do foreign workers earn?
The analysis found that workers born outside the U.S. earn an average wage of $945 less per week, slightly less than the $1,087 per week earned by U.S.-born workers.
What is the population of foreign-born workers?
About half of that group is Hispanic, while about 25 percent is Asian, the Labor Department said. Another 16% is white, and about 10% is black, he noted.
Immigrant workers tend to be less educated, with the analysis showing that 18.3% of foreign-born workers did not have a high school diploma last year, compared to 3.4% for U.S.-born workers.