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Immigrants' Employment Outcomes over the Business Cycle

  • Orrenius, Pia M.


    (Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas)

  • Zavodny, Madeline


    (Agnes Scott College)

Immigrants have figured prominently in U.S. economic growth for decades, but the recent recession hit them hard. Immigrants’ labor market outcomes began deteriorating even before the recession was officially underway, largely as a result of the housing bust. An analysis of employment and unemployment rates over the past 15 years shows that immigrants' labor market outcomes are more cyclical than those of natives. The greater cyclicality of immigrants' employment and unemployment is concentrated among less-educated immigrants, but college-educated immigrants nonetheless have more cyclically-sensitive employment outcomes than college-educated natives.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5354.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5354
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  1. Dustmann, Christian & Glitz, Albrecht & Vogel, Thorsten, 2010. "Employment, wages, and the economic cycle: Differences between immigrants and natives," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 1-17, January.
  2. Erling Barth & Bernt Bratsberg & Oddbj¯rn Raaum, 2004. "Identifying Earnings Assimilation of Immigrants under Changing Macroeconomic Conditions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(1), pages 1-22, 03.
  3. Paul J. Devereux, 2004. "Cyclical Quality Adjustment in the Labor Market," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 600-615, January.
  4. Bernt Bratsberg & Erling Barth & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2006. "Local Unemployment and the Relative Wages of Immigrants: Evidence from the Current Population Surveys," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 243-263, May.
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