Who do immigrants work in the USA and what salaries do they receive - ForumDaily
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Who do immigrants work in the USA and what salaries do they receive?

New immigrants to the United States are more likely than native-born Americans to have a college degree, according to recent research. Where do the new arrivals work, how old are they, and what is their salary? Insider.

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Photo: iStock.com/Tony Studio

There are nearly three million more Americans working today than in January 2020, although the number of U.S.-born workers has remained virtually unchanged. Read about the pros and cons of immigration to the USA in our article.

This means that labor force growth in the United States in recent years has been largely due to immigrants. The share of foreign-born workers in the US labor force rose from 16,8% in January 2020 to 19,3% in March 2024, according to an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read five tips for those who want to immigrate to the USA here.

On the subject: Personal experience: why immigrants have more chances of success in the USA than Americans

Immigration advocates say these newcomers have given the U.S. economy a huge boost rather than taking American jobs, a common argument made by immigration opponents. As many Americans reach retirement age and young people are having fewer children than before, immigration may be the best way to maintain and grow the U.S. labor force.

However, some argue that immigrants are actually taking jobs away from Americans, as well as driving down wages and driving up home prices. Many have larger concerns about the way some immigrants come to the United States.

Who are these immigrant workers in the USA?

According to a Goldman Sachs report published in April, they are most likely to be young men working in one of three industries. They earn less than $40 a year and live in one of four states.

The typical recent immigrant is more likely than the U.S. native to have a college degree.

A report from Goldman Sachs said the recent surge in immigration to the US is largely due to an increase in "unauthorized immigration": people of foreign origin coming to the United States who are not legal US residents.

Many of them came from South America, Central America and Mexico, the report said. The number of immigrants from these regions will triple by 2023 compared to the pre-pandemic average.

In recent years, more than half of immigrants have settled in one of four states: Florida, California, Texas and New York. The next most popular were New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts and Georgia. Accommodative policies towards immigrants and proximity to the southern border influenced their choice of residence.

Age

Among immigrants who came to the United States in the past three years, nearly 90% were between the ages of 16 and 54.

Approximately 64% of these recent immigrants were working or looking for work, in contrast to 62% of U.S.-born workers. The unemployment rate for recent immigrants was 6,3%, compared to 3,8% for U.S.-born workers.

Among recent immigrants age 16 and older, about 55% were male, compared with 46% of U.S.-born individuals in the same age group.

Education

Recent immigrants were much less likely to graduate from high school than the U.S.-born population. Nearly a quarter of recent immigrants age 16 and older had less than a high school education, compared with 10% of the U.S.-born population.

However, recent immigrants were more likely than U.S.-born Americans to have a college degree. More than 39% of recent immigrants aged 16 or older had a bachelor's or advanced degree, in contrast to 34% of the US-born population. The greatest disparity was observed in the share of workers who completed only 9 years of school: about 13% of recent immigrants versus 28% of those born in the United States.

Work

The most common industries for recent immigrant workers were construction, professional and business occupations, and hotel and restaurant services.

More than 16% of recent immigrants worked in the construction industry, compared to 6,4% of U.S.-born workers. The most common occupations in this industry are construction workers, carpenters and electricians.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants, and helpful tips about life in the Big Appleread it all on ForumDaily New Y

Approximately 17% of immigrants worked in professional and business occupations, compared with 12% of the US-born. Some of the most common occupations in this industry include janitors, security guards, and landscaping and grounds maintenance workers.

About 12% of recent immigrants worked in the hotel and food services industry, compared with 7% of those born in the United States. Some of the most common occupations in this industry include food preparation and service workers, waiters, cooks, and hotel clerks.

In 2023, the typical recent immigrant worker earned about $39 a year, compared with $000 for the typical U.S.-born worker, according to Goldman Sachs.

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