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Immigrant Workers Comprise 17% of American Workforce

By Peek & Toland on February 27, 2019

A recent report by the Urban Institute indicates that immigrant workers make up 17% of the American workforce, and much higher percentages in some cities and urban areas. These workers have been in the U.S. for 17 years, on average, and have a median age of 41. Just under 50% of these workers have limited English proficiency. Median annual wages for these workers are $29,407, but many wages are lower for those in lower-skilled jobs. Those immigrants in lower and middle-skilled jobs earn less than their American counterparts in the same jobs. About 25% of these workers have less than a high school diploma or its equivalent, which is a higher rate than for Americans, which is about five percent.

Immigrants fill many lower-skilled jobs that are necessary parts of our workforce, including home health care aides, custodial workers, and construction laborers. Limited English proficiency and difficulties transferring job skills, experience, and credentials from their native countries to the U.S. present barriers to obtaining better education, training, and employment. Immigrants also have limited opportunities to improve their language and technical skills that might enable them to seek better jobs or higher wages.

Immigrant Workers Comprise 17% of American Workforce

As there are currently low unemployment rates in the U.S., American employers increasingly need workers with bilingual and cultural skills. There also is a large need to fill mid-level jobs, which immigrants are just as likely to fill as American workers. While as many as one-third of immigrant workers hold advanced degrees, they often are underemployed in professional jobs due to an inability to transfer skills from a profession in one country to the same profession in the U.S.

Peek & Toland dedicates a large part of its practice to helping both individuals and businesses resolve their immigration-related issues. Immigration law is a complex, ever-changing area of the law that necessitates legal advice from experienced immigration lawyers who keep up-to-date with all relevant changes in law and policy. We will work with you to achieve the most positive outcome possible in your situation. Call our office today and set up a consultation with our skilled immigration attorneys today.

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Immigrant Jobs Survey Finds Arrivals Aren’t Taking Jobs

By Peek & Toland on November 18, 2016

An immigrant jobs survey published earlier this year helps counter claims that arrivals from other countries are taking jobs from local people in the USA.

The issue was tackled in a report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The authors looked at claims arrivals were taking native jobs and came to the conclusion they were not, with some exceptions.

The question goes to the heart of one of the main issues in the U.S. Presidential election. Many American workers who are struggling with the tail end of the recession believe immigrants have taken their jobs. It’s a stance that was taken by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for the White House. He has backed immigration controls including the requirement for jobs to be open to American workers first.

Immigrant job survey shows new arrivals are not taking local jobs

The Economic and Financial Consequences of Immigration study collected research from 14 experts.

Francine D. Blau, an economics professor at Cornell University who led the group, said immigration appears to have little or no adverse effect on the employment prospects or wages of American-born workers.

Immigrant Job Survey Finds New Arrivals Often Earn Less

Indeed, many immigrants who arrived years ago remain in the same low-wage labor markets as new arrivals. Often they earn less and have difficulty finding employment.

Meanwhile, immigrants with a high skills set have a positive impact by spurring innovation and creating more jobs in the United States, the immigrant jobs survey found.

Earlier this year we noted how immigrants are boosting the economy of Texas. While immigrant jobs remain a contentious issue, there is plenty of evidence that workers from overseas are taking jobs that local people don’t want to do anyway.

An article in The Atlantic documented how landscaping companies became the largest employers of non-agricultural guest workers from overseas.

It said Americans shell out as much as $600 on landscaping every year. But it’s hard to find local employees who are willing to do the backbreaking work.

This summer’s report stated that the prospects for sustained economic growth in the United States would be impacted without the contributions of high-skilled immigrants.

However, the question about whether immigrants impact local budgets is a more complex one. Professor Blau said the first generation of arrivals usually cost governments more than they contribute in taxes. However, by the second generation. they are contributing more than they take from local coffers.

This immigrant jobs survey is generally good news for arrivals from abroad who often face discrimination and stigma. If you need help with an immigration matter, please contact our Austin family immigration lawyers at (512) 474-4445.

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