Thursday, August 19, 2010


IWS Documented News Service
Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach
School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies
Cornell University
16 East 34th Street, 4th floor----------------------
Stuart Basefsky
New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau


Congressional Budget Office (CBO)


The Role of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Market: An Update [23 July 2010]

July 2010


[full-text, 28 pages]


Chart Book



People born in other countries are a growing presence in the U.S. labor force. In 1994, 1 in 10 people in the U.S. labor force was born elsewhere, but in 2009, 1 in 7 was foreign born. About 40 percent of the foreign-born labor force in 2009 was from Mexico and Central America, and more than 25 percent was from Asia.


This document updates the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) November 2005 paper The Role of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Market. That earlier report included data through 2004; this update, the first of several on various aspects of immigration, incorporates data through 2009. It focuses on the growing number of foreign-born workers, the countries from which they have come, their educational attainment, the types of jobs they hold, and their earnings. In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, nonpartisan analysis, this report makes no recommendations.




1. Size and Growth of the U.S. Labor Force, by Birthplace, 1994, 2004, and 2009 2

2. Composition and Educational Attainment of the U.S. Labor Force, by Birthplace, 2009 3

3. Geographic Distribution of the U.S. Labor Force, by Birthplace, 1994, 2004, and 2009 5

4. Educational Attainment of the U.S. Labor Force Age 25 and Older, by Birthplace, 2009 7

5. Selected Characteristics of the U.S. Population and Labor Force, by Birthplace, 2009 8

6. Labor Force Status of Men and Women, by Birthplace, 2009 9

7. Occupations of Workers Ages 25 to 64, by Birthplace, 2009 13

8. Percentage of Workers Ages 25 to 64 in Occupations Grouped by the Average Education Level of Workers in Those Occupations, by Birthplace, 2009 14

9. Distribution of Workers Ages 25 to 64, by Industry and Birthplace, 2009 15

10. Average Weekly Earnings of Full-Time Workers Ages 25 to 64, by Educational Attainment, Birthplace, and Parents’ Birthplace, 2009 17

11. Differences in Average Weekly Earnings Between Foreign- and Native-Born Full-Time Workers Ages 25 to 64, Adjusted for Educational Attainment and Experience, 2009 19

12. Selected Characteristics of Workers Ages 25 to 64, by Birthplace and Parents’ Birthplace, 2009 21


This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

Stuart Basefsky                   
Director, IWS News Bureau                
Institute for Workplace Studies 
Cornell/ILR School                        
16 E. 34th Street, 4th Floor             
New York, NY 10016                        
Telephone: (607) 255-2703                
Fax: (607) 255-9641                       



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