Immigrant job quality and mobility in the United States

Type Journal Article - Work and Occupations
Title Immigrant job quality and mobility in the United States
Volume 31
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
Page numbers 499-518
The U.S. workforce heavily depends on immigrants. To address the role and position of nonWhite
immigrant groups in the United States, the authors examine employment and industry patterns
in the labor force, disaggregated by nativity and gender, in 1990 and 2000. The authors then
look at job quality and mobility, with job quality defined by occupation, industry, and relative
earnings, using 1990 and 2000 census data. Disaggregating results by race and ethnicity, nativity,
and gender reveals that immigrants do not appear entirely to be stuck in low-end jobs, and
arrival cohort data suggest substantial immigrant upward mobility, mainly from lower to middle
but also to higher range jobs. Immigrants may experience more upward mobility than analysts
sometimes conclude based on consideration of immigrants’ race and ethnicity alone and on
assumptions that the experiences of new immigrants are likely to mirror those of the African
American population.

Related studies