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Immigrants in the Labor Force

Two women sitting at a desk in an office with an American flag

Since there are such large populations of immigrants in the United States, it’s natural that they’d also be present in the nation’s workforce.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, immigrants made up a relatively good size of the American labor force during 2017, at 17% out of the 163.7 million people accounted for.

Between the years 1970 and 2017, the number of immigrants present in the American workforce more than tripled, from 5% to 17%. Throughout that same time period, the overall immigrant population grew slower, from almost 5% to just below 14%.

Immigrant Jobs

There were 26.8 million immigrant employees aged 16 and above during 2017. Of that population, over 32% held jobs relating to management, professionalism, and other related occupations.

Graph of Jobs Breakdown for Foreign-Born Workers and U.S.-Born Workers

As seen in the graph, foreign-born workers held jobs in service; natural resources, construction and maintenance; and production, transportation, and material moving more often than U.S.-born workers. In contrast, U.S.-born workers held more positions within management, business, science, and arts as well as sales and office in 2017.

Skills Utilization

Foreign-born as well as U.S.-born civilians have relatively high percentages of their populations in which their skills are underutilized. When a person’s skills are underutilized, it means they are holding a job that requires a lot less brain power than what they are truly capable of.

In 2017, a total of 17.4% of U.S.-born civilians that were college-educated and 25 years or older had their working skills underutilized. Similarly, 22.5% of foreign-born college-educated civilians in the same age range had their skills underutilized in the workforce.

If you have immigration goals of your own, the attorneys at Maney | Gordon | Zeller are highly skilled in immigration law and may be able to help you. Our attorneys have been serving clients across the nation for over 40 years and have a proven track record of success. Don’t hesitate; contact us right away with your case.

Call Maney | Gordon | Zeller today at (800) 708-4399 to speak with an attorney about your case.


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