Wealth of 2011 data on foreign born workers

Foreign born workers are about 2/3 non-citizens and 1/3 citizens. The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued in mid 2012 a wealth of data on all foreign-born workers. it is not feasible to fairly summarize from even the press release, included below, but here are a few quick facts for 2012: 24.4 million foreign born persons in the labor force, or 15.9% of total; half are Hispanics’ one fifth are Asians; average compensation 22% less than native born (but the average disguises and hourglass profile of immigrant workers – many low wage, a good number high wage). The survey includes undocumented workers as well as all others.
The press release is below. The BLS page with many reports listed is here.
FOREIGN-BORN WORKERS: LABOR FORCE CHARACTERISTICS — 2011
Technical information: (202) 691-6378 * cpsinfo@bls.gov * www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact: (202) 691-5902 * PressOffice@bls.gov
The unemployment rate for the foreign born was 9.1 percent in 2011, down from 9.8 percent in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The jobless rate of the native born was 8.9 percent in 2011, compared with 9.6 percent in the prior year. The foreign born made up 15.9 percent of the labor force.
Data on nativity are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of approximately 60,000 households. 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. For further information about the survey, see the Technical Note.
Highlights from the 2011 data:
— In 2011, there were 24.4 million foreign-born persons in the U.S. labor force, comprising 15.9 percent of the total. (See table 1.)
— Hispanics accounted for 49.0 percent of the foreign-born labor force in 2011. Asians accounted for 22.3 percent. (See table 1.) (Data in this news release for persons who are white, black, or Asian do not include those of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. Data on persons of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity are presented separately.)
— Foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in service occupations; production, transportation, and material moving occupations; and natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations. (See table 4.)
— The median usual weekly earnings of foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers were $609 in 2011, compared with $780 for their native-born counterparts. (See table 5.) (Differences in earnings reflect a variety of factors, including variations in the distributions of foreign-born and native-born workers by educational attainment, occupation, industry, and geographic region.)


Demographic Characteristics
The demographic characteristics of the foreign-born labor force differ from those of
the native-born labor force. In 2011, men accounted for 59.0 percent of the foreign-
born labor force, compared with 52.3 percent of the native-born labor force. By age,
the proportion of the foreign-born labor force made up of 25- to 54-year-olds (75.4
percent) was higher than for their native-born counterparts (64.5 percent). Labor
force participation is typically highest among persons in that age bracket. (See
table 1.)
In 2011, nearly half (49.0 percent) of the foreign-born labor force was Hispanic, and
22.3 percent was Asian, compared with 8.5 and 1.4 percent, respectively, of the native-born labor force. About 19 percent of the foreign-born labor force was white and 8.8 percent was black, compared with 76.4 and 11.6 percent, respectively, of the native-born labor force.
In 2011, 25.5 percent of the foreign-born labor force 25 years old and over had not
completed high school, compared with 5.3 percent of the native-born labor force.
The foreign born were less likely than the native born to have some college or an
associate degree–17.5 versus 29.9 percent. Similar proportions of foreign-born and
native-born persons in the labor force had a bachelor’s degree or higher (31.7 and
36.1 percent, respectively).
Labor Force
The share of the U.S. civilian labor force that was foreign born was 15.9 percent in
2011, little different from 15.8 percent in 2010. (See table 1.)
In 2011, the labor force participation rate of the foreign born was 67.0 percent. The
labor force participation rate of the native born was 63.6 percent. The labor force
participation rate of foreign-born men was 79.5 percent in 2011, compared with 68.8 percent for native-born men. Among women, 54.6 percent of the foreign born were labor force participants, compared with 58.7 percent of the native born.
Among the foreign born, the labor force participation rate for blacks was 71.2 percent in 2011, little different from the participation rate for Hispanics (69.8 percent). The participation rate for whites was 60.2 percent, while that for Asians was 65.6 percent. Among the native born, the labor force participation rate for whites was 64.3 percent, followed by Hispanics (63.2 percent), Asians (61.5 percent), and blacks (60.1 percent).
In 2011, foreign-born mothers with children under 18 years old were less likely to be labor force participants than were native-born mothers–59.8 versus 73.2 percent. Labor force participation differences between foreign-born and native-born mothers were greater among those with younger children than among those with older children. The labor force participation rate of foreign-born mothers with children under age 6 was 50.5 percent in 2011, much lower than that for native-born mothers with children under age 6, at 67.3 percent. Among women with children under age 3, the participation rate for the foreign born (45.2 percent) was nearly 20 percentage points below that for native-born mothers (64.3 percent). The labor force participation rates of foreign- and native-born fathers with children under age 18 were similar, at 93.8 and 93.1 percent, respectively. (See table 2.)
By region, the foreign born made up a larger share of the labor force in the West
(24.0 percent) and in the Northeast (18.5 percent) than for the nation as a whole
(15.9 percent) in 2011. In contrast, the foreign born made up a smaller share of the
labor force than for the nation as a whole in the South (14.2 percent) and Midwest
(8.0 percent). (See table 6.)
Unemployment
From 2010 to 2011, the unemployment rates of the foreign born and the native born each declined by 0.7 percentage point, to 9.1 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively. Overall, the unemployment rates of the foreign born in younger age groups (ages 16 to 34) tend to be lower than the jobless rates for the native born, while for older workers (ages 35 and up), unemployment rates of the foreign born tend to be higher than for the native born. (See table 1.)
In 2011, the unemployment rate for foreign-born men was 8.8 percent, compared with 9.5 percent for native-born men. Among women, however, the jobless rate for the foreign born was higher than for the native born, 9.5 versus 8.3 percent.
Among the major race and ethnicity groups, blacks had the highest unemployment rate in 2011, regardless of whether they were foreign born or native born. Among the foreign born, blacks had an unemployment rate of 12.5 percent in 2011, compared with 6.7 percent for Asians, 7.6 percent for whites, and 10.1 percent for Hispanics. Among the native born, the jobless rate of blacks (16.3 percent) was higher than the rate for whites (7.2 percent), Asians (8.2 percent), and Hispanics (13.0 percent).
Occupation
In 2011, foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in service occupations (24.6 versus 16.4 percent). Within service occupations, about two-thirds of the foreign born were employed in food preparation and serving related occupations and in building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations (combined), whereas about one-half of the native-born service workers were employed in the same occupations. Foreign-born workers also were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in production, transportation, and material moving occupations (15.8 versus
11.0 percent) and in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (13.5 versus 8.5 percent). (See table 4.)
Native-born workers were more likely than foreign-born workers to be employed in
management, professional, and related occupations (39.3 versus 28.6 percent) and in sales and office occupations (24.8 versus 17.5 percent).
Employed foreign-born men were more likely than their native-born counterparts to work in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations; service occupations; and production, transportation, and material moving occupations. Compared with native-born women workers, employed foreign-born women were more likely to be in service occupations and in production, transportation, and material moving occupations. The disparity was especially great in service occupations. In 2011, 32.2 percent of foreign-born women workers were in service occupations, compared with 19.4 percent of native-born women workers. Employed native-born women were more likely than employed foreign-born women to be in sales and office occupations, 32.6 versus 24.5 percent.
Earnings
In 2011, the median usual weekly earnings of foreign-born, full-time wage and salary workers ($609) were 78.0 percent of the earnings of their native-born counterparts ($780). Among men, median earnings for the foreign born were $624 per week, while the native born earned $879 per week. The median usual weekly earnings for foreign-born women were $585, compared with $701 for native-born women. Differences in earnings reflect a variety of factors, including variations in the distributions of foreign-born and native-born workers by educational attainment, occupation, industry, and geographic region. (See table 5.)
Hispanic foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers earned 77.0 percent as much as their native-born counterparts in 2011. For white, black, and Asian workers, earnings were similar for the foreign born and the native born.
The earnings of both foreign-born and native-born workers increase with education.
In 2011, foreign-born workers age 25 and over with less than a high school education earned $417 per week, while those with a bachelor’s degree and higher earned about 2.8 times as much–$1,148 per week. Among the native born, those with a bachelor’s degree and higher earned about 2.3 times as much as those with less than a high school education–$1,151 versus $497 per week.
Native-born workers earn more than the foreign born at most educational attainment levels. The gap between the earnings of foreign-born and native-born workers narrows with higher levels of education. For example, among those with less than a high school diploma in 2011, full-time workers who were foreign born earned 83.9 percent as much as their native-born counterparts. Among those with a bachelor’s degree and higher, foreign-born workers earned essentially as much (99.8 percent) as native-born workers.

Leave a Reply