For Immediate Release
Not In Competition:
Data Underscores Differences Between Immigrant and Native-Born Workers
June 10, 2010
Washington D.C. – High levels of unemployment have led some to propagate the myth that every immigrant added to the U.S. labor force amounts to a job lost by a native-born worker, or that every job loss for a native-born worker is evidence that there is need for one less immigrant worker. In fact, this has been the rationale behind any number of harsh legislative proposals targeting immigrants. These kinds of proposals may be appealing politically, but they reflect dangerously simplistic assumptions about labor-force dynamics. Moreover, such proposals distract from the far more important goal of creating economic policies that generate growth and create jobs for workers across the U.S. labor market. As data from the 2009 Current Population Survey illustrates, most immigrant and native-born workers are not competing with each other in today’s tight job markets.
The data demonstrates – as have other, more detailed analyses – that most foreign-born workers differ from most native-born workers in terms of what occupations they work in, where in the country they live, and how much education they have. What this means in practical terms is that most native-born workers are not directly competing for jobs with immigrant workers because they are in different labor markets. In fact, even within the same company, immigrants and natives may not be in competition with each other due to differences in occupation, education, and location. A company may be laying off workers from a management staff dominated by the native-born, yet hiring workers for a production staff that is dominated by immigrants. In light of this simple fact, the claims heard in some quarters that immigrants must be stealing jobs from native-born Americans have little credibility.
To read more about the differences in occupation, location, and education among the native- and foreign-born, view the fact sheet in its entirety:
Not in Competition: Data Underscores Differences Between Immigrant and Native-Born Workers (IPC Fact Check, June 10, 2010)
For more information contact Wendy Sefsaf at 202-507-7524 or firstname.lastname@example.org