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How labor market policies shape immigrants’ opportunities

  • Pia M. Orrenius
  • Genevieve R. Solomon

When it comes to unemployment and labor force participation rates, immigrants do better in the United States than in most other countries. In 2005, for example, the foreign-born had average unemployment of 4.6 percent in the U.S., well below native-born workers’ 5.2 percent. U.S. immigrants also had higher participation rates. The American experience stands in stark contrast to many other developed nations’. In France and Germany, for example, the foreign-born typically have jobless rates twice as high as native-born workers and lower participation rates. ; What accounts for these differences? Most studies attribute poor labor market outcomes to the immigrants themselves—their education levels, language skills, inexperience, family composition and reasons for migrating. Immigrant characteristics surely matter, but so do the host country’s labor market institutions and policies.

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File URL: http://dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/eclett/2006/el0607.pdf
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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its journal Economic Letter.

Volume (Year): 1 (2006)
Issue (Month): jul ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddel:y:2006:i:jul:n:v.1no.7
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