[Excerpt] People born in other countries are a growing presence in the U.S. labor force. In 1994, 1 in 10 people in the U.S. labor force was born elsewhere, but in 2009, 1 in 7 was foreign born. About 40 percent of the foreign-born labor force in 2009 was from Mexico and Central America, and more than 25 percent was from Asia.
This document updates the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) November 2005 paper The Role of Immigrants in the U.S. Labor Market. That earlier report included data through 2004; this update, the first of several on various aspects of immigration, incorporates data through 2009. It focuses on the growing number of foreign-born workers, the countries from which they have come, their educational attainment, the types of jobs they hold, and their earnings. In keeping with CBO’s mandate to provide objective, nonpartisan analysis, this report makes no recommendations.