Record 25,741,000 Foreign-Born People Employed in the U.S.

A job seeker enters the HireLive Career Fair on November 12, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The national unemployment rate stands at 5 percent.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The number of foreign-born people employed in the United States hit a record high in March, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the BLS, 25,741,000 foreign-born people had a job in the U.S. last month, an increase of 246,000 over the previous high recorded in November. The unemployment rate among the foreign-born population was 4.8 percent.

The BLS statistics on the foreign-born do not distinguish between people who are in the country legally versus illegally. The agency’s data on foreign-born employment is available through 2005.

“The foreign born are those residing in the United States who were not U.S. citizens at birth. That is, they were born outside the United States or one of its outlying areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam, to parents neither of whom was a U.S. citizen,” reads the BLS definition. “The native born are persons who were born in the United States or one of its outlying areas such as Puerto Rico or Guam or who were born abroad of at least one parent who was a U.S. citizen.”

Meanwhile, 124,997,000 native-born people were also employed and experienced some job growth in March, further recouping their more than half million jobs lost in January. The native-born unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.

While both the foreign-born and native-born populations have experienced similar levels of job growth since President Obama took office, the working-age native-born population has grown nearly twice as fast as the foreign-born population.

Since Obama’s inauguration the working-age, foreign born population has increase by 6.1 million and the working-age, native-born population has increased by nearly 12 million. In that same period of time foreign-born people gained 4.4 million jobs while native-born people gained 5.9 million jobs.


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