Foreign-born labor force participation

May 24, 2005

In 2004, there were 21.4 million foreign-born persons in the American labor force, 14.5 percent of the total. From 2002 to 2004, the number of foreign-born labor force participants grew by about 1.2 million and accounted for a little less than half of total labor force growth.

Labor force participation rate by sex, 2004
[Chart data—TXT]

A little over two-thirds—67.5 percent—of foreign-born persons 16 years and over were in the labor force in 2004. The labor force participation rate for the native born was 65.7 percent.

Foreign-born men were more likely to be labor force participants than their native-born counterparts. In contrast, foreign-born women were less likely to be labor force participants than were native-born women.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. Find more information in "Labor Force Characteristics of Foreign-born Workers in 2004" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 05-834.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Foreign-born labor force participation on the Internet at (visited September 29, 2016).


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