Census: Foreign Workers Increase Due to Washington Policy Changes
December 08, 2009, 06:42 PM
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This just in from the Census Bureau: in a time of record unemployment, America has a record number of foreign-born workers occupying jobs.
[Foreign-Born Make Up One in Six Workers in U.S., Report Shows, Bloomberg, December 8, 2009]

Almost one in six people in the U.S. workforce in 2007 was foreign-born, the highest portion in at least 80 years, an analysis from the Census Bureau showed.

Immigration policies had cut the size of the foreign-born labor force from about 19 percent of workers in 1920 to 5.2 percent in 1970, the agency said in the report yesterday. Policy changes starting in the 1960s have led to a "new wave of immigration," pushing the current level to about 16 percent, according to the report.

Economic opportunity is a primary attraction for many immigrants to the U.S., and there are a greater number of foreign-born workers in the country than ever, the agency said in the report. Every industry group in the economy employs such workers, the agency said.

The foreign-born participated in the labor force at a higher rate than the native-born, the analysis showed.

Foreign-born workers were more likely to be male than native-born workers, more often less educated, and included higher proportions of workers in their late twenties and early thirties, the report said.

The Census` report is available here: The Foreign-Born Labor Force in the United States: 2007.

The chart below is taken from the Census paper. See the original for footnotes.