Immigration and Labor Market Outcomes for Native Workers

Wilson, Franklin, and Gerald Jaynes
Working paper no. 1995-32


This paper assesses the association of migration (both international and internal) with the employment status and earnings of native whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians in the United States during the 1980-1990 decade. Results indicate that neither net internal migration nor immigration of minorities to fifty-two of the largest metropolitan areas were related to 1980-90 changes in the probability of joblessness for native and immigrant workers, but were marginally associated with 1979-89 decreases in the hourly wages of some native ethnic/immigrant groups. Results also indicate that the share of an industry sector’s workforce that was foreign born and changes in that percentage were associated with increases the odds of joblessness for some groups, but decreases for others. However, analysis of predicted mean values indicate immigration and the immigrant share of an industry sector’s workforce accounts for less that 2 percent of the change that occurred in joblessness and hourly wages during the 1980’s.