According to a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center, foreign-born Latino workers made notable progress between 1995 and 2005 when ranked by hourly wage. The proportion of foreign-born Latino workers in the lowest quintile of the wage distribution decreased to 36% from 42% while many workers moved into the middle quintiles, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Center.
While Latino workers moved out of the low end of the wage distribution and into the middle, Asians significantly boosted their presence in the high-wage workforce.
This report uses the prism of the wage distribution to study the integration of foreign-born workers, especially Latinos and Asians, into the U.S. labor market. Immigrant workers represent a critical and growing part of the U.S. labor force. The share of foreign-born workers in the labor force grew from 7% in 1980 to 15% in 2005. Latinos, who also represent the largest share of foreign-born workers, accounted for 13% of the overall labor force in 2005, up from 6% in 1980. Since foreign-born workers account for the majority of new workers in the economy, their share of the overall workforce will continue to increase in the near future.
The report addresses several key questions about this fast-growing workforce: Are these foreign-born workers crowding into the low-wage segments of the workforce? What are the growth rates for immigrant workers in the middle- and high-income segments of the workforce? How are the newly arrived immigrant workers faring?
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