With immigration emerging as one of the primary topics of this year’s elections, the Pew Research Center looks at trends among immigrants, including employment patterns across the country. While immigrants make up 13 percent of the U.S. population and 17 percent of the workforce, employment patterns among the group are distinct from U.S.-born workers.
“Understanding these differences nationally and within each state is vital for policymakers as they consider strategies to boost their economies and develop their workforce,” according to a National Journal article on the report.
The report explores immigrant participation in 13 major industries across all 50 states. The industries are:
- Agriculture and extraction
- Information Administrative services
- Other services
- Public administration
- Construction Professional, scientific, technical, and management services
- Finance and real estate Leisure and hospitality
- Education services
- Health care and social assistance
- Trade, transportation, and utilities
On the national level, immigrants are more likely than their U.S. counterparts to work in 1.5 times more likely than U.S. workers to have employment in agriculture and extraction and construction. Immigrants are 1.7 times more likely to work in administrative services than U.S. workers.
Immigrant construction workers, according to Pew, are most concentrated in southern states. Immigrant workers in the agriculture and extraction industry are predominant in the south and west. Eastern states– Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New York and Vermont are the state where immigrants are most likely to be employed in health care and social services.
Public administration is the area where immigrants are least likely to work as Pew reports only 2.3 percent of the immigrant labor pool in the sector. This compares to 5.4 percent of U.S.-born workers with employment in public administration.
In 48 of the 50 states, immigrants are more likely than their U.S.-born counterparts to work in the leisure and hospitality industry. The exceptions are North Dakota and Michigan. Along the same lines, immigrants are more likely than U.S.-born workers to be employed in the manufacturing industry in 43 states across the country.
In contrast, U.S.-born workers are more likely to work in the information sector in every state across the country except Virginia. In the finance and real estate industry, U.S.-born workers are more prevalent everywhere except Virginia and the District of Columbia.