Good News on Foreign Born Workers

Written by Richard Hokenson 

The five-month long decline in the foreign born population was strongly reversed in January (see Chart 1). Prior weakness in the foreign born labor force was also followed by a sharp rebound (see Chart 2). The other interesting aspect is that the foreign born unemployment rate now exceeds the unemployment rate for native workers which implies more growth in cyclically sensitive occupations (see Chart 3).

Considering the fact that foreign born workers comprise nearly 17% of total employment, changes in their numbers have a significant impact on the total American labor force (see Chart 4). The reality is that the health of the American economy depends critically on their numbers and we hope that reality will be integrated into the current debate on immigration.


This update was researched and written by Richard Hokenson, as of February 7 2018