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Report sheds light on immigration and the labor market

August 18, 2009 by  

Report sheds light on immigration and the labor market Although supporters of immigration say aliens do work that Americans do not want to do, new studies have shown this may not be the case.

Two reports from the Center for Immigration Studies looked at the concentration of immigrants across 465 occupations and examined the broader measure of unemployment (U-6) which also includes people who would like to work but have not looked for a job recently as well as those working part-time who want full-time work.

The first study found that among the 465 occupations, only four are majority immigrant. Moreover, many jobs which are traditionally thought of as being carried out mainly by immigrants are in fact dominated by native-born Americans.

For example, a total of 55 percent of maids and housekeepers are native-born, as are 65 percent of construction workers, 71 percent of porters, bellhops and concierges as well as 75 percent of janitors.

The second report has found that while the rate of unemployment for native-born Americans with less than a high school education is 20.8 percent, the U-6 measure is 33.2 percent. For those who have only high school education the unemployment rate is 18.5 percent, and U-6 is 30.3 percent.

Meanwhile, the Federation for American Immigration Reform has criticized the government for insufficient commitment to E-Verify, after a recent Department of Homeland Security announcement that federal contractors would only be required to check the work authorization of new employees.

An executive order signed by President Bush last year would have required that federal contractors verify all employees, but has been delayed by the new administration.

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