Foreign Born Populations and Unemployment in the United States: Myth or Reality?

  • Steven Doncaster Temple University

Abstract

Immigration to the United States has played a crucial role in the founding and development of the nation. However, there has also been a consistent trend of native born United States citizens to pin employment struggles on new immigrant populations. In the wake of the 2016 presidential election and the rhetoric espoused about immigrants, the relationship between new immigrant populations and employment has continued. Is there a relationship between areas with high foreign born populations and high unemployment? By conducting a regression analysis using U.S. Congressional districts as the unit of analysis, I find that there does appear to be a statistically significant relationship between areas with high foreign born populations and high unemployment rates. However, there appears to be a more statistically significant and larger change in the unemployment rate caused by median family incomes and the commuting time to work. I concluded that efforts to better address transportation systems in the United States and addressing income inequality will be more effective at solving unemployment issues than divisive rhetoric towards immigrants. I also recommend that policy initiatives to better integrate new immigrants into U.S. society be studied to curb the relationship between high unemployment areas and high foreign born populations.

Author Biography

Steven Doncaster, Temple University

Steven Doncaster is an undergraduate Economics and Political Science major at Temple University.

References

Borjas, George. 2006. “Immigration and the American Worker.” Center for Immigration Studies 1-26.

Brucker, Herbert and Elke J. Jahn. 2009. “Migration and Wage-Setting: Reassessing the Labor Market Effects of Migration.” IAB Nurnberg and IZA Bonn 1-41.

Cochrane, Christopher and Neil Nevitte. 2014. “Scapegoating: Unemployment, far-right parties and anti-immigrant sentiment.” Comparative European Politics 12: 1-32.

Niyimbanira, F. and T.F. Madzivhandila. 2012. “Myth That Immigrants “Steal Jobs”: An Economic Blame Game?” International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanity Studies 8: 165-179.

Orozco-Aleman, Sandra and Heriberto Gonzalez-Lozano. 2018. “Labor Market Effects of Immigration Policies Border Enforcement and Amnesty.” Journal of Labor Research 39: 150-177.

The Cook Report. 2016. “2016 House Race Ratings.” Date accessed 10/14/18 https://www.cookpolitical.com/ratings/house-race-ratings/139361

US Census Bureau. 2017. “My Congressional District”. Date accessed 10/14/18. https://www.census.gov/mycd/

Published
2019-05-26
How to Cite
Doncaster, S. (2019). Foreign Born Populations and Unemployment in the United States: Myth or Reality?. Perceptions, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.15367/pj.v5i2.202