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FPI_ImmigrantsAndOccupationalDiversity

FPI_ImmigrantsAndOccupationalDiversity

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Published by: Zain Khwaja on Jul 13, 2010
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Across the Spectrum:The Wide Range of JobsImmigrants Do
A Fiscal Policy Institute Reportwww.fiscalpolicy.org
 
April, 2010
 
 The principal author of this report is David Dyssegaard Kallick. The Fiscal PolicyInstitute’s chief economist and deputy director, James Parrott, oversaw the work at everystage. Research associate Jonathan DeBusk conducted the data analysis. Jo Brill,communications director, helped with formatting and proofreading. The work wasoverseen by Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative is guided by advice and inputfrom our expert advisory panel. Current members are listed on the last page of this report.Thanks to Audrey Singer and Jill Wilson of the Brookings Institution’s MetropolitanPolicy Program for guidance on the analysis of American Community Survey microdata by Metropolitan Statistical Area.Charts with 21 detailed occupations for immigrants in each of the 25 largest metro areasare available upon request.Core funding for the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and additional funding is provided by theHorace Hagedorn Foundation.Contact:David Dyssegaard Kallick Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative212-721-7164ddkallick@fiscalpolicy.orgwww.fiscalpolicy.org/immigration.html
 
 Across the Spectrum
FPI
 
April 2010
 
1
 
Introduction
 Across the Spectrum
looks at the wide range of jobs immigrants hold in the 25 largestmetropolitan areas of the United States.
 Across the Spectrum
updates the data used in our December 2009 report,
 Immigrants and the Economy
, and looks at it from a different perspective.
1
In the 2009 report, weexamined the important role immigrants are playing in a wide range of metropolitanareas. We looked at the immigrant share of economic output, which we found wasconsistently in line with the immigrant share of population. We looked at the correlationof aggregate metro area economic growth and growth in immigrant share of the labor force, finding unsurprisingly that immigration and economic growth go hand in hand.And, examining 5 broad and 21 detailed occupations, we looked at what share of eachoccupation was held by immigrants.In this report, we take much of the same information and examine the range of occupations held by immigrants. Rather than asking, for example, what share of technicians are immigrants, we ask here what share of immigrants are technicians.Contrary to common misperception, immigrants are spread quite broadly across a widerange of occupations in most metropolitan areas. In some metro areas, such as Pittsburgh,Cleveland and St. Louis, immigrants are in fact quite strikingly concentrated in higher-skilled occupations; in others, such as Dallas or Phoenix, they are more concentratedtoward the lower end of the skill spectrum. Interestingly, it is often in the metro areaswith slowest economic growth that immigrants are most concentrated at the top of theskills spectrum. The reason is clear enough: immigration and growth go hand in hand, soareas with low levels of growth, such as metro Pittsburgh, wind up with a comparativelysmall number of immigrants. Doctors, engineers, and executives still come to the area towork at institutions drawing from a global talent pool. But, immigrants looking for jobsin lower-skilled occupations—for example, in food services or as construction laborers— are not likely to go to areas with very low growth. It’s not so much that metro Pittsburghhas a very large number of high-skilled immigrants as that immigration overall iscomparatively low. In a booming metro area, both higher- and lower-skilled immigrantswill be part of the economic picture.The analysis presented here includes as immigrants all people residing in the UnitedStates who were born in another country. It includes documented and undocumentedimmigrants, recent arrivals as well as long-term residents, citizens and non-citizens.Where possible, we use data from the Pew Hispanic Center to give an analogous pictureof undocumented immigrants.
1
 
 Immigrants and the Economy
is available online at www.fiscalpolicy.org/immigration.html.

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