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
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: Suggested Citation