Do immigrants work in riskier jobs?
- Cite this article as:
- Orrenius, P.M. & Zavodny, M. Demography (2009) 46: 535. doi:10.1353/dem.0.0064
- 729 Downloads
Recent media and government reports suggest that immigrants are more likely to hold jobs with poor working conditions than U.S.-born workers, perhaps because immigrants work in jobs that “ natives don’t want.” Despite this widespread view, earlier studies have not found immigrants to be in riskier jobs than natives. This study combines individual-level data from the 2003-2005 American Community Survey with Bureau of Labor Statistics data on work-related injuries and fatalities to take a fresh look at whether foreign-born workers are employed in more dangerous jobs. The results indicate that immigrants are in fact more likely to work in risky jobs than U.S.-born workers, partly due to differences in average characteristics, such as immigrants’ lower English-language ability and educational attainment.