Foreign born represented 16.5 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2014, up from 14.8 percent in 2005

May 28, 2015

Foreign-born workers represented 16.5 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2014, up from 14.8 percent in 2005. Foreign-born men accounted for 9.6 percent of the labor force, compared with 8.9 percent in 2005. Foreign-born women represented 6.9 percent of the labor force, up from 5.9 percent in 2005.

Percent of the U.S. labor force that is foreign born and native born, by gender, 2005–2014 annual averages
Characteristic 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Foreign-born men

8.9% 9.2% 9.4% 9.3% 9.2% 9.3% 9.4% 9.3% 9.4% 9.6%

Foreign-born women

5.9 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.3 6.5 6.5 6.8 6.9 6.9

Native-born men

44.7 44.5 44.2 44.2 44.1 43.9 44.0 43.8 43.8 43.6

Native-born women

40.5 40.2 40.1 40.3 40.4 40.2 40.1 40.0 39.9 39.9

The share of the labor force for native-born men was 43.6 percent in 2014, down from 44.7 percent in 2005. Native-born women accounted for 39.9 percent of the labor force in 2014, compared with 40.5 percent in 2005.

Men accounted for 58.1 percent of the foreign-born labor force in 2014, compared with 52.2 percent of the native-born labor force. Nearly half (48.3 percent) of the foreign-born labor force was Hispanic or Latino, 24.1 percent was Asian, 17.5 percent was White, and 9.0 percent was Black or African-American.

These data are from the Current Population Survey. For more information, see "Foreign-Born Workers: Labor Force Characteristics — 2014" (HTML) (PDF). The foreign born are U.S. residents born outside the country or one of its outlying areas to parents who were not U.S. citizens. The foreign born include legally admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Foreign born represented 16.5 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2014, up from 14.8 percent in 2005 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/foreign-born-represented-17-percent-of-the-labor-force-in-2014-up-from-15-percent-in-2005.htm (visited April 27, 2017).

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