Mexican, Chinese and Indian nationals lead immigration numbers

Mexico, China and India lead the most current available immigration numbers among at least 3 million foreign nationals who were granted work permits, work visas, and green cards in 2013. According to reported numbers from a Congressional Research Service report, work permits in 2013– the latest data available— continued to be issued at record numbers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,)  the 2013 numbers include about 1 million green cards with work authorization, 1 million employment-based nonimmigrant visas for foreign workers, and 1.2 million work-permit authorizations for foreign nationals.In total, the foreign worker population consists of 26 million as of 2014, representing around 16.5 percent of the U.S. workforce.

In terms of work permits issued in 2014,Hispanics accounted for 48.3 percent of the foreign-born labor force and Asians accounted for 24.1 percent.

According to BLS:

  • Foreign-born worker earnings in 2014 had a usual weekly median of $664. In comparison, those in the native-born workforce had a usual median income of $820. The pay gap was most apparent among the lowest-educated portion of the workforce.With higher education credentials, the gap disappeared entirely.
  • The worker participation rate of the foreign-born workforce in 2014 came in at 66 percent. The native-born worker participation rate was 62.3 percent.
  • Numbers from 2014 also show foreign-born mothers with children under the age of 18 participated in the labor force at a rate of 59.1 percent. Native-born mothers who also had children under 18 years old participated at a 73.1 percent rate. Interestingly, the gap between participation rates was greatest among women with the youngest children and declined with older children.

BLS collect data on the native and immigrant workforce through the Current Population survey, a monthly sample survey of around 60,000 households.