The Center for Immigration Studies recently released a new report showing that over the past four years, 67 percent of U.S. employment growth came from immigrants. Since January 2009, the number of immigrants working with and without green cards or work visas has risen by 1.94 million, from 21.2 million to 23.2 million. Native-born Americans, on the other hand, saw employment rising by 938,000 jobs to a total of 119.9 million.
As the 2012 election season come to a close, experts are surprised that these figures were not mentioned in many campaigns.
“It’s extraordinary that most of the employment growth in the last four years has gone to the foreign-born, but what’s even more extraordinary is the issue has not even come up during a presidential election that is so focused on jobs,” Steven Camarota, co-author of the report, said.
Experts believe that immigrants are doing so well in a weak economy because they naturally gravitate to jobs in profitable areas of the workforce. The agriculture and high-tech industries are currently hiring, and immigrants are often overly represented in these fields. These workers commonly jump into rebounding job markets that grow at a slower pace, and because they do not have access to government benefits like welfare and unemployment payments like native residents, they work hard to move ahead in the industry.
Immigrant workers have also been successful because they are more willing to relocate than native North Americans. As natives often have strong ties to the communities where they live, they are often hesitant to move for a new job even if they do not live in a prosperous area.
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