Black African immigrants and healthcare jobs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employment in the U.S. will grow by only 6% between 2023 and 2031, or about 0.5% a year compounded. Some jobs will decline, such as lower level administrative jobs.  Some will increase, such as math and science jobs by 15%. The fastest growing jobs are in healthcare. The single fastest growing job is nurse practitioner (46%).  Healthcare support occupations, such as PT and OT assistants and home health aides, will grow by 18%.

24% of foreign-born workers were employed in healthcare and social assistance occupations, compared to 17% of U.S.-born workers.  (Go here and here for an overview of foreign-born worker participation in healthcare jobs.)

Black Africa immigrants are compared to other immigrant groups relatively more concentrated in healthcare jobs and thus will disproportionately benefit from the surge in healthcare jobs. These workers tend to be from Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Nigerian immigrants in the United States are particularly likely to work in healthcare occupations, with over 17% of Nigerian immigrant men (vs. 8% of all male workers) and 34% of Nigerian immigrant women (13% of all female workers) working in healthcare-related fields. The report also found that Nigerian immigrants were more likely to have a professional degree than any other immigrant group, and were more likely to work in high-skilled occupations such as medicine and law.

Because the Black African immigrant population is relatively small –only 2.1 million or about 5% of all 46 million foreign-born persons – African born workers are a small portion of all workers in any work sector.  But within 2.1 million is the highest percentage of healthcare workers of all other immigrant groups defined by origin.


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