Economic Snapshot | Jobs and Unemployment

Blacks have highest unemployment among foreign-born workers

At 12.4%, black immigrants had the highest unemployment rate among foreign-born workers in 2010. In comparison, the unemployment rate was slightly lower for Hispanic immigrants (11.3%) and significantly lower for white (7.4%) and Asian immigrants (7.3%).

Since the start of the recession in 2007, foreign-born blacks have also seen the largest rise in unemployment, increasing 6.8 percentage points. Foreign-born Hispanics were only slightly better off with an increase of 6.4 percentage points. Foreign-born Asians had an increase of 4.3 percentage points, and foreign-born whites saw the smallest rise of 3.7 percentage points.

Among native-born workers, U.S.-born blacks didn’t fare much better. By nativity, both black groups stand out with the highest unemployment rate and the largest increases in unemployment since the recession began. Because this disadvantage in the labor market affects both U.S. – and foreign-born blacks, it points to a problem that stems from race and not cultural background.

For more on the comparative economic standing of foreign-born blacks, see the EPI report The low wages of black immigrants.

See related work on Jobs | Race and Ethnicity | Immigration | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

See more work by Algernon Austin