Immigrant Workers in the U.S. Labor Force

Brookings has published an on-line analysis of data on immigrants in the labor force. Prompted by debates about illegal immigration, border security, skill levels of workers, unemployment, job growth and competition, and entrepreneurship this analysis examines perceptions of immigrants’ role in the U.S. labor market. The report explores how large a share of the labor force are immigrants and how the number varies by particular industry. The analysys also explores how immigrants compare to native-born workers in their educational attainment and occupational profiles.

This analysis is important because our economy is dependent on immigrant labor now and for the future. The U.S. population is aging rapidly as the baby boom cohort enters old age and retirement. As a result, the labor force will increasingly depend upon immigrants and their children to replace current workers and fill new jobs. This analysis puts a spotlight on immigrant workers to examine their basic trends in the labor force and how these workers fit into specific industries and occupations of interest.

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