New Jobs in Recession and Recovery: Who Are Getting Them and Who Are Not

Mar 10, 2011

The following text is adapted from testimony presented by Rakesh Kochhar, Associate Director for Research at the Pew Hispanic Center, to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement on March 10, 2011. 

"The October 2010 report, After the Great Recession: Foreign Born Gain Jobs; Native Born Lose Jobs, focused on the period from the second quarter of 2008 to the second quarter of 2009 -- when most of the job losses during the Great Recession occurred -- and the period from the second quarter of 2009 to the second quarter of 2010 -- the first year of recovery from the recession. We found that in the year following the official end of the recession in June 2009, foreign-born workers, who make up 15.7% of the labor force, gained 656,000 jobs while native-born workers lost 1.2 million. As a result, the unemployment rate for immigrant workers fell 0.6 percentage points during this period (from 9.3% to 8.7%), while for native-born workers it rose 0.5 percentage points (from 9.2% to 9.7%).

"Because five months have passed since the release of our report, I have taken this opportunity to update our results through the fourth quarter of 2010. The updated results show that the economic recovery is now offering more widespread job opportunities for both native-born and foreign-born workers.

"More specifically, in the one-year period from the fourth quarter of 2009 to the fourth quarter of 2010, foreign-born workers gained 657,000 jobs and native-born workers gained 685,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped for both groups during this period. For immigrant workers it fell 0.2 percentage points (from 10.1% to 9.9%) and for native-born workers it decreased by about 0.5 percentage points (from 9.5% to 9.0%)."

Read the full summary of findings, New Jobs in Recession and Recovery: Who Are Getting Them and Who Are Not on the Pew Research Center's Web site.

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