Unemployment Among Foreign-born U.S. Workers Fell to 3.5% Last Year

The unemployment rate for foreign-born persons in the United States was 3.5 percent in 2018, down from 4.1 percent in 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

The jobless rate of native-born persons was 4.0 percent in 2018, down from 4.4 percent in 2017.

Data on nativity are collected as part of the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of approximately 60,000 households. The foreign born are persons who reside in the United States but who were not U.S. citizens at birth.

In 2018, there were 28.2 million foreign-born persons in the U.S. labor force, comprising 17.4 percent of the total.

Hispanics accounted for nearly half of the foreign-born labor force in 2018, and Asians accounted for one-quarter.

Foreign-born men were more likely to participate in the labor force than native-born men (77.9 percent versus 67.3 percent), while foreign-born women were less likely to participate than native-born women (54.3 percent versus 57.6 percent).

Foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in service occupations and less likely to be employed in management, professional, and related occupations.

The median usual weekly earnings of foreign-born full-time wage and salary workers were $758 in 2018, compared with $910 for their native-born counterparts.

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