Almost 2 million jobs have moved to immigrants from U.S.-born workers since the most recent recession officially ended 16 months ago, according to a poll released Friday.
U.S. born workers have lost about 1.2 million jobs since the recession officially ended in June 2009, while foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs, Pew Research center said, citing a poll of about 55,000 households jointly conducted with the Census and U.S. Labor Department. As a result, the unemployment rate for foreign-born workers, which was about even with their native U.S. counterparts during the recession, is now 8.7%, or about one percentage point less than U.S.-born workers, according to the survey.
The gains suggest that immigrants are slowly chipping away at an unemployment rate that more than doubled between 2007 and 2009, partially because of the lower wages they command, on average. Average weekly wages for foreign-born workers have dropped 4.5% in the past year while remaining little-changed for U.S.-born employees, according to Pew Research.
Immigrants account for 16% of the U.S. labor force, up from about 10% in 1995, according to Pew Research.