Latino Immigration and the Low-Skill Urban Labor Market: The Case of Atlanta
Social Science Quarterly, Forthcoming.
Posted: 8 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 7, 2011
Latino immigrants continue to enter low-skilled urban labor markets across metropolitan areas in the United States. This study provides a dynamic account of the employment competition between Latino immigrant and black workers in the context of an emerging immigrant gateway: Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area. This study identifies occupational niches that Latino immigrants and black workers heavily concentrate for years 1990, 2000, and 2008. Occupational-level composition and wage models are also estimated to test for the impact Latino immigration might have on black workers. Both black workers and Latino immigrant workers became increasingly concentrated in a few occupations between 1990 and 2008. While Latino immigrants have entered several historically black occupational niches, no downward pressure on the wage growth of blacks in the same occupation is observed. As immigrants become increasingly clustered in manual-intensive craftsmen, operative and farm occupations, blacks gravitate towards the better paid and language-intensive sales, clerical and service occupations, forming a segmented low-skill labor market. The reinforcement of their respective niches also tends to create closure to the other groups and intensify within-group competition.
Keywords: Immigrants, Low-skill Labor, Atlanta
JEL Classification: J23, J61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation