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New Bureau of Labor Statistics Data Highlights Critical Role Foreign-Born Workers Play in the U.S. Workforce, Especially in Construction

Employers—especially construction employers—will be interested in new data the U.S Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics published Thursday on the role of foreign-born persons in the U.S. workforce (people currently working in the United States, who were born outside the U.S. and neither parent was a U.S. citizen). 

These workers include both legal and undocumented immigrants. They accounted for almost 60% of the growth in the U.S. labor force last year. Foreign-born men continue to participate in the labor force at a considerably higher rate (77.4%) than their native-born counterparts (66.0%). Foreign-born men are also far more likely to work in construction, maintenance, and natural resource extraction occupations than native-born men (22.6% versus 14.4%).

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