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DOL: Record-breaking number of immigrants make up U.S. labor force

The report added that most of the foreign-born migrants in the labor force in 2022 are Hispanics

Foreign worker
Foreign worker | Shutterstock

May 23, 2023 8:27am

Updated: May 23, 2023 7:27pm

A new report released last week by the Department of Labor shows that there are more foreign-born workers in the American labor force in 2022 than ever before. 

In 2022, the number of migrants in the U.S. labor force reached 18.1%, an increase from 17.4% in 2021, according to the Department of Labor’s annual report on foreign-born workers. The figure is the highest level ever recorded since the number of migrants in the American labor force began to be recorded 27 years ago. 

According to the report, there are 164 million workers in the labor force over the age of 16. Out of the total, 28.7 million of them were immigrants, compared to the 26 million foreign-born workers in the labor force in 2021. 

Foreign-born workers are also responsible for most of the growth of the labor force, accounting for 6% of growth, compared to 1% for native-born workers. 

Migrants are more likely to participate in the labor force, compared to their American counterparts, the report found. Around 65.9% of foreign-born workers are either employed or looking for a job, while 61.5% of American workers are doing the same. 

Last year, foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in service occupations—21.6% compared to 14.8%, respectively—as well as more jobs in construction, maintenance, and natural resources—13.9% compared to 7.9%. 

However, native-born workers held more jobs related to management or professional occupations—44.7% compared to 35.7% for migrant workers—and production, transportation, and material moving occupations—15.2% compared to 12.1%. 

The report added that most of the foreign-born migrants in the labor force in 2022 are Hispanics. However, it didn’t specify their country of origin. 

“Hispanics continued to account for nearly one-half of the foreign-born labor force in 2022, and Asians accounted for one-quarter,” the report said.