Number of undocumented workers by state and their workforce share

I can now provide an estimate of the number of undocumented workers in each state and their share of that state’s totwl workforce.
The Pew Hispanic Center issued in March, 2005 an estimate of the size and characteristics of the undocumented population in the county as of March 2005.
The Pew report says that in 2004 there were 7 million undocumented workers out of a total undocumented population of 10.3 million. This comes to a workforce – to – population percentage of 68%. This is extremely high compared to national figures of close to 60% and reflects the reality that most undocumented people are here to work.
I used Pew’s figures for March, 2005, and – applying growth rates that it found for the recent past — I extrapolated them to find a January 1, 2006 undocumented workforce of 7.3 million. Per Pew, The undocumented worker population is growing at about 300,000 per year (net of entrants and exiting persons), out of a net total undocumented immigrant growth of 500,000 per the Pew Hispanic Center. The workforce growth is close to 4% annually, far ahead of the growth of the American citizen workforce.
This comes to about 4.9% of the American workforce, which is about 150 million. I have estimated for each state the number of undocumented workers and their share of the state’s workforce as of December 2005.
You can read the rows below as follows. Take Florida for example. The total undocumented workforce in January 2006 is about 621,743. This is 7.1% of Florida’s workforce. What about the 14.2% figure? – See below.

Continue reading Number of undocumented workers by state and their workforce share

Wall Street Journal article on Brazilian immigrant cleaning business in MA

Today’s Wall Street Journal profiles Brazilian home cleaning businesses in MA. The businesses are so well developed that a buy-sell market has emerged; the Internet is used to communicate and clients; and Craig’s list is used to recruit workers. The hub of the cleaning business is in Somerville, MA, which according to the Boston Globe’s analysis of census data, 31% of new immigrants are Portuguese speaking (Brazilian or Portuguese). We have already profiled the Brazilian Immigrant Center.
Tufts University is undertaking a collaborative multi-year project in Somerville to study and support economic growth among immigrants. Included in the project is the introduction of “green” cleaning materials for cleaning businesses.
Among a number of initiatives, this project

…. will also break new ground by launching an entirely new business model for immigrant workers: a non-profit green cleaning cooperative that will help to break down the barrier of isolation faced by these workers. “Brazilian women cleaners form a large occupational group working and living in Somerville who can benefit from this new structure and by learning about safe work practices and the benefits of using environmentally friendly cleaning products,” said Monica Chianelli, coordinator, Brazilian Women’s Group.

“Immigrants have accounted for 82 percent of the growth of the labor force in Massachusetts since the mid 1980s. Somerville, which has seen the number of foreign-born residents grow by 34 percent in 10 years, is an important gateway for newcomers,” explained Principal Investigator David M. Gute, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Tufts University and an epidemiologist.

Where immigrant workers live in the United States

The Migration Immigration Source makes available online a huge amount of data on foreign-born residents of the United States, as mostly reported through the 2000 census. Dated in some instances as that may be, one can use the website quickly to find where foreign-born people of any nationality live in each state or region.
How many immigrants are employed? Let’s say 40%. I’ll look into it. I haven’t found a better estimate.
I did two quick searches, on Thai immigrants throughout the country, and Russians living in the Northeast and in particular New York.

Thai immigrants in the United States: In 2000, throughout the United States there were 169,801. Of this total, 37% lived in California; next highest is Minnesota at 5%.

Russian immigrants in the Northeast and New York: According to the 2000 census, there were 153,596 foreign born from Russia in the Northeast. The foreign born from Russia represented 2.1% of the Northeast’s total foreign-born population of 7.2 million. Of the 53.6 million people in the Northeast, the foreign born from Russia accounted for 0.3% of the total population. The foreign born from Russia in the Northeast constituted 45.2% of the 340,177 foreign born from Russia in the United States, and Russians in New York constituted 27.8% of foreign born from Russia in the United States.

H-1B visas and the engineering workforce shortage, per Chair of Intel

Craig Barrett, Chair of Intel, recently wrote a commentary for the Financial Times (payment required) and afterwards responded to reader questions.
Begun in 1998, the H-1B program has annual caps which in 2003 was 195,000. In 2004 the cap was cut to 65,000. As of 2004, close to 1,000,000 H-1B visa holders were believed to be working in the United States, up from about 360,000 in 1998. This means an annual addition of about 150,000 workers a year into the American workforce.
Compare this stream to the supply of engineers coming from American higher education (many of whom are foreigners)? In 2004, there were about 70,000 bachelor, 40,000 master, and 6,000 doctoral degrees were awarded by American colleges and universities. This is from the American Society of Engineering Education
H1B Visa (Professional in a Specialty Occupation) allows a U.S. employer to fill a position requiring the minimum of a baccalaureate in the particular field with a qualified worker from abroad. The foreign worker must possess that U.S. degree or an acceptable foreign alternative. In some cases, a combination of studies and relevant experience may substitute for the degree if it is determined by a credentials expert to qualify the foreign professional. The large majority of H1B visa holders are believed to be engineers.
Per Barrett:

Continue reading H-1B visas and the engineering workforce shortage, per Chair of Intel

High future demand for immigrant construction workers

Demand for immigrants in the construction field has been strong since the mid 1990s and will continue to be for several reasons. (1) New and replacement construction will continue to grow, though experts say at a lower rate. (2) Among many construction jobs there is a high turnover rate, and employers have constantly to search for new hires. (3) Demographics will continue to bring construction to areas of the country where there is a high level already of immigrant workers in construction.
In a keynote address at a construction risk management conference on trends and emerging issues, Huge Rice of FMI forecasted high construction activityin the United States, in part due to demographic shifts in age and residential location. Between 2002 and 2012, he forecasted 1.1 million new construction projects involving 1.4 “retirements/defections” and 2.5 million replacements/new entrants. Rice specifically addressed the Hispanic construction workforce. He noted the demographics of the country and the southwest, where Hispanics now make up about a third to a half of all construction labor:
New Mexico 48%
Texas 45%
California 34%
Florida 21%
Total nationwide Hispanic employment in construction rose between 1980 and 2000:
1980 342,000
1990 650,000
1995 782,000
2000 1,408,000
Three quarters of these Hispanic workers are of Mexican descent.
The Federal government addressed construction labor growth in a number of accessible studies, including one in 2002 and a set in the November, 2005 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.
According to the Department of Labor, construction jobs grew at an annual rate of 3.1% between and 2004. DOL expects much slower growth between 2004 and 2014, about 1.1% annually. However, in terms of total jobs added in that period, 792,000, construction will be the fourth largest contributor to job growth (after retail, employment services, food services, and medical offices). Residential construction, where immigrant labor tends to congregate, is expected to grow in dollars by 1.8% . annually. Construction workers make up slightly under 5% of the domestic civilian workforce.

Size of the illegal alien population (2000 – 2005)

We will be addressing this matter multiple times as we explore in the future alternative ways of measuring the size of this population. This posting focuses on methods of measurement.
The Center for Immigration Studies summarizes how the Federal Current Population Survey handles this matter, in its Immigrants at Mid-Decade: A Snapshot of America’s Foreign-Born Population in 2005.

It is well established that illegal aliens do respond to government surveys such as the decennial census and the Current Population Survey. While the CPS does not ask the foreign-born if they are legal residents of the United States, the Urban Institute, the former INS, the Pew Hispanic Center, and the Census Bureau have all used socio-demographic characteristics in the data to estimate the size of the illegal population.15 Our preliminary estimates for the March 2005 CPS indicate that there were between 9.6 and 9.8 million illegal aliens in the survey. It must be remembered that this estimate only includes illegal aliens captured by the March CPS, not those missed by the survey. By design this estimate is consistent with those prepared by the Census Bureau, Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS), Urban Institute, and Pew Hispanic Center.16 While consistent with other research findings, it should be obvious that there is no definitive means of determining whether a respondent in the survey is an illegal alien with 100 percent certainty. We estimate that in 2000, based on the March 2000 CPS, that there were between seven and 7.2 million illegal aliens in the survey. This means about 2.5 to 2.7 million, or about half of the 5.2 million growth in the foreign born between 2000 and 2005 was due to growth in the illegal population. We also estimate that 3.6 to 3.8 million or almost half of the 7.9 million new arrivals are illegal immigrants.

Where undocumented immigrants live and work

In January 2004,the Urban Institute published a useful overview of the undocumented population in the United States. Go here for the entire report.
The Institute estimated there were at that time 9.3 million immigrants, of which 6 million were workers. 96% of men work and 62% of women work.
Breakdown of the total population of undocumented immigrants is:
U.S. total (in millions) 9.3; California, 2.4; Texas, 1.1; Florida, 0.9; New York, 0.7; Illinois, 0.4; New Jersey, 0.4; all others, all others, 3.5.