Immigration and the U.S. Labor Force

WASHINGTON (

August 17, 2009) – The two reports released today by the Center for Immigration

Studies provide detailed information on the

U.S. labor force. The first, entitled “Jobs Americans Don’t Do?,” provides a detailed look at the concentration of immigrants across the 465 occupations that comprise the U.S.-labor market. The second report, entitled “Worse Than It Seems,” examines the broader measure of unemployment, referred to by the government as U-6, which includes the unemployed and people who would like to work but have not looked for a job recently, as well as those working part-time who want full-time work.

Among the findings:

Of the 465 civilian occupations, only four are majority immigrant. These four occupations account for less than one percent of the total

U.S. workforce. Moreover, even in these four occupations, native-born Americans comprise 47% of workers.

Many jobs often thought to be overwhelmingly immigrant are in fact majority native-born:

Maids and housekeepers: 55 percent native-born.

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs: 58 percent native-born.

Butchers and meat processors: 63 percent native-born.

Grounds maintenance workers: 65 percent native-born.

Construction laborers: 65 percent native-born.

Porters, bellhops and concierges: 71 percent native-born.

Janitors: 75 percent native-born.

Immigrants tend to be concentrated in occupations that are primarily, but not exclusively, lower wage jobs that require relatively little formal education.

In June 2009, the official unemployment rate for native-born Americans was 9.7 percent, but the broader U-6 measure was 16.3 percent. The U-6 measure includes people who would like to work but have not looked for a job recently, as well as those working part-time involuntarily.

There are 12.7 million unemployed native-born Americans, but using the U-6 measure the number is 21.7 million.

The unemployment rate for native-born Americans with less than a high school education is 20.8 percent. Their U-6 measure is 33.2 percent.

The unemployment rate for young native-born Americans (18-29) who have only a high school education is 18.5 percent. Their U-6 measure is 30.3 percent.

The unemployment rate for native-born blacks with less than a high school education is 27.5 percent. Their U-6 measure is 42 percent.

The unemployment rate for young, native-born blacks (18-29) with only a high school education is 25.8 percent. Their U-6 measure is 37.4 percent.

The unemployment rate for native-born Hispanics with less than a high school education is 22.6 percent. Their U-6 measure is 36.5 percent.

# # #

The Center for Immigration

Studies is an independent research institute which examines the impact of immigration on the

United States.

[FYI – Mark Krikorian]

Contact:

Steven Camarota, (202) 466-8185, sac@cis.org

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