Friday, 13 July 2012
A Profile of Immigrant Workers in the United States
Plus, Asian Migrants in OECD countries and US Naturalized Citizens
Immigrants' participation in the US labor force is one of the most watched indicators of successful economic integration. So just how successful have immigrants been at integrating in the workforce? Use our updated "Workforce Characteristics" fact sheets to learn more about immigrants' presence in the national and state labor force for 2010: their regions of origin, top immigrant occupations and industries, and the extent to which "brain waste" occurs among college-educated immigrants when they are unable to find jobs in which they can appropriately utilize their education and professional training. The data are based on the US Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey (ACS).
Of the robust statistics compiled in the fact sheets, here are a few stats we think you will find interesting:
* One in six US workers are born abroad: The 23 million immigrants in the US civilian labor force account for one in six workers age 16 and older, while at the same time, immigrants account for one in eight US residents. Both the number and the share immigrants represent among all US civilian employed workers roughly doubled between 1990 and 2010.
* Traditional gateway states have high shares of immigrants in their labor force: The three top states with the highest share of immigrants in their workforce are California (35 percent), New York, and New Jersey (27 percent each). On the other end of the spectrum, West Virginia has the lowest share of immigrants in its labor force (less than 2 percent). While the absolute and relative number of immigrant workers is small in West Virginia, 53 percent are college educated (among those 25 and older), compared to 31 percent nationwide. More than 60 percent of these immigrant workers are from Asia, Europe, and Canada, who tend to be more educated than those from Latin America.
* Latin America is the dominant region of origin of immigrant workers in the United States: Close to 55 percent of all immigrant employed workers are from Latin America, compared 28 percent from Asia and 11 percent from Europe.
* Immigrants are overrepresented among less-educated workers: Nationally, immigrants accounted for 49 percent of workers without a high school degree and 15 percent of college-educated workers ages 25 and older. For instance, California ranked first for both the highest share of immigrants among low-educated workers (80 percent) and the highest share of immigrants in the college-educated workforce (30 percent).
* 'Brain Waste' affects more than 1.4 million college-educated immigrants: Some 22 percent of immigrants with a college degree were either unemployed or worked in unskilled jobs such as dishwashers, security guards, and housemaids. (For more on the causes behind brain waste and which origin groups are more likely to be affected, check out MPI's report Uneven Progress: The Employment Pathways of Skilled Immigrants in the United States.)
The states with college-educated adult immigrants most affected by brain waste are California (353,000 immigrants), New York (180,000), and Florida (146,000). At the same time, the underutilized share of college-educated immigrant workers is the highest (and well above than the national average of 22 percent) in Nevada (37 percent), Hawaii (31 percent), Florida (27 percent), and Utah (26 percent).
To examine more immigrant workforce statistics with our recently updated fact sheet, go to the 2010 ACS/Census tool and select a state to view its immigrant workforce data (or click on the small map of the United States if you want national data). Our final fact sheet on income and poverty characteristics of the foreign born will be updated next month.
GRAPH OF THE MONTH
Highly Educated Asian Migrants in OECD Countries
In the United States and other Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, Asian immigrants are more likely to be educated than other origin groups. According to a newly released International Migration Outlook OECD 2012 report, nearly half of all Asian immigrants residing in OECD countries are highly educated.
Furthermore, some OECD countries have more educated Asian than others member states. For instance, Asians in countries that target immigrants with high human capital, such as Canada and Australia, are more educated than those who reside in Italy and Norway.
Percent of Highly Educated among Asian Migrants by OECD Destination Country
Source: OECD, International Migration Outlook OECD 2012.
Visit our World Migration Map to learn more about global destinations of the 78 million international migrants from Asia.
With the memory of the United States' Independence Day fireworks still on our minds (and ringing in our ears), now is the perfect time to turn our attention to citizenship in the United States. So, for this month's quiz, can you guess how many immigrants became US citizens in 2011: about 100,000; about 500,000; or about 700,000?
Find your answer in the recently released US Department of Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Statistics publication here.
(Note: The DHS figures include all immigrants who became US citizens in fiscal year 2011, regardless of age and voting registration status).
HAVE YOU READ...
MPI Releases Estimates of Unauthorized Immigrant Population Potentially Eligible for Prosecutorial Discretion
As many as 1.4 million unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children could gain relief from deportation under the Obama administration's grant of deferred action, according to recent MPI estimates for the nation and top states of residence.
Profile of Immigrants in Napa County
By Randy Capps, Kristen McCabe, and Michael Fix
This report offers a comprehensive profile of immigration to Napa County, examining the important role that immigrant workers play in the Napa Valley's wine-related sectors and their fiscal contributions and costs. The authors examine demographic changes in Napa County, tracing immigrants' origins, economic well-being, education, residence and home ownership, tax payments and public expenditures, and more.
On behalf of the MPI Data Hub team, thank you for your interest in and support of the Data Hub.
Data Manager and Senior Policy Analyst
Migration Policy Institute