The Labor Market Status of Immigrants: Effects of the Unemployment Rate at Arrival and Duration of Residence

INDUSTRIAL AND LABOR RELATIONS REVIEW, January 1997

Posted: 31 Oct 1996

See all articles by Barry R. Chiswick

Barry R. Chiswick

University of Illinois at Chicago; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yinon Cohen

Columbia University

Tzippi Zach

Independent

Abstract

Combining Current Population Survey samples from November 1979, April 1983, June 1986 and June 1988, all of which included data on country of birth and year of immigration, the authors examine patterns of immigrant employment and unemployment. Human capital was less strongly linked to employment status for immigrant men than for native-born white men, probably because human capital acquired outside the United States was only imperfectly transferable to the U.S. labor market. Immigrants had some initial difficulty finding work, but their employment and unemployment rates quickly attained levels comparable to those of the native-born. There is no evidence that immigrants who arrived in a recession were subjected to a long-term "scarring" effect. Immigrants' labor market status appears to have been somewhat more sensitive to cyclical changes in economic activity than was that of the native-born.

JEL Classification: J61

Suggested Citation

Chiswick, Barry R. and Cohen, Yinon and Zach, Tzippi, The Labor Market Status of Immigrants: Effects of the Unemployment Rate at Arrival and Duration of Residence. INDUSTRIAL AND LABOR RELATIONS REVIEW, January 1997. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3454

Barry R. Chiswick (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

601 S. Morgan Street, Room 2103UH
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States
312-996-2683 (Phone)
312-996-3344 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Yinon Cohen

Columbia University ( email )

Department of Sociology
New York, NY 10027
United States

Tzippi Zach

Independent

No Address Available

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