With the Senate expected to take up broad immigration reform this year, the immigration debate has lately focused on "amnesty" for foreign-born workers looking for a "path to citizenship."
But as the debate rages on, a new report sheds some light on the makeup of the immigrant workforce. Nearly half of foreign-born workers in America's largest metro areas work in white-collar jobs, including management, sales or administration, according to a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute. Immigrant workers are roughly evenly distributed among a wide variety of jobs and income ranges, the report notes, a data point that should provide ammunition to those calling for more "startup visas" for foreign-born entrepreneurs.
(The New York Times has a nice rundown of the study here.)
The report's author, David Dyssegaard Kallick, the director of the institute's immigration research initiative, examined immigrants in the workforce in the nation's 25 largest metropolitan areas. Interestingly, in 14 of the 25 largest metro areas, the report notes, "there are more immigrants in white-collar jobs than in all other jobs combined."
Here's more from the report:
It is a popular misconception that immigrants are overwhelmingly concentrated in construction, food service, janitorial, or other low-wage jobs. While there are indeed
many immigrants working in each of these jobs, in the 25 largest metro areas combined
there are about as many immigrants working in white-collar jobs as there are in blue-
collar, service, farming, fishing and forestry jobs combined...
Immigration is also closely connected with metro area economic growth. In areas where
the economy has grown significantly over the past two decades, immigration has also
grown significantly; in places where the economy has not grown as much, neither has
immigration. This close association of immigration and growth is readily explained:
immigrants go where there are jobs, and when they do they earn money, buy goods and
services, bring new ideas, start businesses, and generally contribute to economic growth.
READ the study: