Skilled foreign workers – summary statistics

Now waves of immigrants are mostly not skilled workers. But foreign born workers have a huge share of some skilled job categories.
Thanks to Immigrant Voice for bringing to my attention these figures.
Skilled workers are a small minority of U.S. legal immigrants. Of the 940,000 legal immigrants recorded in 2004, only 16% were skilled employment-based immigrants. This means that 150,000 of the almost one million new legal immigrants (permanent or temporary) came on a skilled based authorization. About 40% of these skilled immigrants had advanced degrees, or 5 or more years of experience after a baccalaureate degree.
Per Immigrant Voice, the impact of these workers’ contributions to American competitiveness belies their small number, because they make up a large share of all workers in certain professions.
In 1996 17% of all scientists and engineers were foreign born. That rose to 24% in 2002. Among scientists and engineers with PhDs or professional degrees, 38% were foreign born in 1996 and 43% in 2002.
Go to Chpter 2, page 57 of the 2006 Economic Report of the President for more information.