Workplace Concentration of Immigrants

61 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2010 Last revised: 28 Nov 2011

See all articles by Fredrik Andersson

Fredrik Andersson

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)

Monica Garcia-Perez

St. Cloud State University

John Haltiwanger

University of Maryland - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Kristin McCue

Government of the United States of America - Bureau of the Census

Seth G. Sanders

Duke University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 1, 2011

Abstract

To what extent do immigrants and the native-born work in separate workplaces? Do worker and employer characteristics explain the degree of workplace concentration? We explore these questions using a matched employer-employee database that extensively covers employers in selected MSAs. We find that immigrants are much more likely to have immigrant coworkers than are natives, and are particularly likely to work with their compatriots. We find much higher levels of concentration for small businesses than for large ones, that concentration varies substantially across industries, and that concentration is particularly high among immigrants with limited English skills. We also find evidence that neighborhood job networks are strongly positively associated with concentration. The effects of networks and language remain strong when type is defined by country of origin rather than simply immigrant status. The importance of these factors varies by immigrant country of origin—for example, not speaking English well has a particularly strong association with concentration for immigrants from Asian countries. Controlling for differences across MSAs, we find that observable employer and employee characteristics account for about half of the difference between immigrants and natives in the likelihood of having immigrant coworkers, with differences in industry, residential segregation and English speaking skills being the most important factors.

Keywords: concentration, segregation, immigrant workers, social networks

Suggested Citation

Andersson, Per Fredrik Daniel and Garcia-Perez, Monica and Haltiwanger, John C. and McCue, Kristin and Sanders, Seth G., Workplace Concentration of Immigrants (November 1, 2011). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP- 39R. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1711943 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1711943

Per Fredrik Daniel Andersson

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) ( email )

400 7th St. SW
Washington, DC 20219-0001
United States
202-649-5528 (Phone)
571-465-3246 (Fax)

Monica Garcia-Perez

St. Cloud State University ( email )

Saint Cloud, MN 56301
United States

John C. Haltiwanger

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
301-405-3504 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Kristin McCue (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Bureau of the Census ( email )

4600 Silver Hill Road
Washington, DC 20233
United States

Seth G. Sanders

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

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