What Are The Common Jobs Immigrants Have In The U.S.

Common Jobs for US Immigrants

Common Jobs for US Immigrants

Immigrants regardless of countries they come from come to the U.S. because of one major goal and that is to find better paying jobs. Why in the United States? It’s because the standard of living in this country is much higher than the rest of the world. America is also home to very diverse races and cultures so more and more people feel at home in this land of freedom. Economically, job opportunities are also a lot and even though there are other countries that pay their workers with higher pay like some European countries, the equivalent wage rate of an immigrant worker in America is still much higher compared to his home country, generally speaking.

However, people have a general conviction that immigrants in the U.S. are nonetheless just takers of dirty hard jobs that Americans do not want. But is this really true?

Are the Immigrants Really Taking American Jobs?

Based from the data collected by the Migration Policy Institute, around 14 percent of the U.S. labor force are foreign-born workers and this constitutes the legal and the illegal immigrants. For the illegal immigrants, it is typical that we find them working on service sectors and earning below minimum wage. Some are farmhands on agricultural counties while others work on labor camps because they are safer there. We can also find some of them working for construction companies including the legal immigrants. On the other hand, legal immigrants are basically allowed to work because they are already qualified to be part of the American workforce. Unlike the undocumented immigrants, the legal immigrants are already protected by the American law so to discriminate them from the jobs they deserve to have would be unlawful.

Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about the common immigrants’ jobs and one of it is that all foreign-born workers can only be good for low-paying and low-skilled jobs. To prove this, the Migration Policy Institute conducted a study and found out that 19 percent of the legal immigrant workers today are working in the professional industries like education, health care, Information Technology, engineering and other jobs that require college education.

So to break the common misconceptions, we have searched for more facts to find out the common jobs immigrants (legal or illegal) take in the U.S. and these are what we have discovered.

Common Immigrants’ Jobs in the U.S. Based from American Labor Surveys

    • Nineteen percent of the number of legal immigrants in the U.S. are working in the health industry and these are mostly nurses and paramedics.
    • Working immigrant mothers are mostly employed under fast food businesses and employees of supermarkets.
    • Based from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), around 30 percent of construction workers in the U.S. are immigrants. Construction companies generally prefer the immigrants because they work faster and do not complain when asked for extra work hours. The only problem with this system is that the undocumented ones are getting exploited and consequently given the lower wages.
    • Immigrant families who don’t have college degrees usually prefer to work under the cleaning categories and are members of associations that are providing cleaning services to domestic and business establishments.
    • The CIS said that more than 35 percent of immigrant workers are also working in the agriculture, custodial or building maintenance while 20 percent are in the manufacturing and food service industry.
    • The Pew Hispanic Center which is a research organization based in Washington reported that 20 percent of the illegal Hispanic immigrants in America are into construction jobs while, 17 percent are in the hospitality and leisure industry. The 14 percent are also now in the manufacturing business and 11 percent are into retailing trade like retail stores.
    • The rest of the working immigrants are working for daycare centers, care giving institutions, domestic help, but only the few who have higher education are into high-profile jobs.

American citizenship  ratio

American citizenship ratio

According to the Census Bureau data of the Pew Hispanic Center, as of 2011, there were about 40.4 million immigrants that are now living in America and these are composed of legal immigrants and unauthorized immigrants. With their numbers, they make up to 13 percent of the total American populations. This year, it is estimated that out of the 40.4 million immigrants, around 11.1 million of them are without American citizenship but are generally working.

On the other hand, the authorized immigrants are now active taxpayers so they are also contributing their share to the government that has provided them the citizenships and the opportunities. So with regards to the allegations that immigrants are taking jobs from the Americans, as Professor Robert J. Lalone of the University of Chicago said this statement is actually unclear but obviously biased. According to him, ironically, the immigrants are a great help especially to daycare services, housecleaning and other hard jobs and therefore have provided the Americans more comfortable lives and making them more productive with their work.

On the part of the illegal immigrants, we cannot exactly draw out a clearer picture for their employment which is not actually easy to collect. Most often, they would not divulge or are feeling reluctant to share their job information with the goal of protecting not only themselves but also their employers. But based on official records, these are the people that are never choosy with their jobs even though most of them are professionals in their home countries.