Immigrants Represent a Growing Share of the U.S. Workforce

Immigrants represent a steadily growing share of the U.S. workforce, a trend that could be affected by efforts to overhaul immigration policy in the U.S., according to Bloomberg BNA.

An annual report released May 18 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the number of foreign-born workers in the U.S. increased to nearly 27 million in 2016—up about 700,000 from the previous year and representing 16.9 percent of the U.S. labor force. That is the highest proportion in records going back to 1996, when immigrants accounted for just 10.8 percent of the workforce.

The report defines foreign-born workers as individuals who reside in the U.S. but were born outside the country to parents who were not U.S. citizens. It doesn't distinguish between legally admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents and undocumented immigrants.

The share of immigrants in the U.S. workforce has grown steadily during the past six years after a slight dip during the last recession when foreign-born workers were disproportionately affected by the collapse in the housing market, which took a toll on the construction employment. From 1996 to 2016, the entire labor force increased by about 25 million, half of which came from gains among those born outside the U.S.

The data was released as the Trump administration's immigration proposals face legal challenges and resistance among some lawmakers in Congress; proposals include building a wall on the southern border, a travel ban on citizens of six mostly Muslim countries, and a threat to withhold funding from jurisdictions that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Employers increasingly have relied on foreign-born labor to fill positions in industries such as construction and information technology, where it is becoming a challenge to find qualified applicants.


Trenton H. Cotney
Florida Bar Certified Construction Lawyer
Trent Cotney, P.A. 
8621 E. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Tampa, FL 33610


Popular posts from this blog

Pleading Elements of Unjust Enrichment

Pleading Elements of Fraud in the Inducement

Pleading Elements of Fraudulent Misrepresentation