This book analyzes the labor market adjustment processes of immigrants in the United States. Newly-arrived immigrants earn less, work fewer weeks, and have higher rates of unemployment than native-born workers. After a period of assimilation, these conditions later converge to, and often surpass, those of native-born workers. The adjustment process traditionally implies greater employment turnover.
Newly-arrived immigrant men have lower employment and labor force participation rates than similar native-born American men. Yet differences in unemployment rates are less consistent, and are complicated by shorter periods of unemployment duration for immigrants. Contrary to expectations, recent immigrants are less likely to be unemployed, even after adjusting for a lower duration of unemployment. This is partly because movements in and out of the labor force are high. Lower employment for recent immigrants is best explained by lower labor force participation, while higher unemployment rates are best explained by high rates of labor force entry. All labor force outcomes for immigrants, whether higher or lower upon arrival, converge to native-born norms after a few years of residence.

chapter 1|7 pages


chapter 2|10 pages

Theories of Immigration and Assimilation

chapter 3|17 pages

Models of Labor Turnover and Unemployment

chapter 4|12 pages

Empirical Evidence in the Literature

chapter 6|5 pages

Data Sources

chapter 10|22 pages

Search Duration—Weeks Looking for Work

chapter 12|16 pages

Summary, Conclusions, Policy Implications