Immigrants have gained hundreds of thousands of jobs since the Great Recession is said to have ended, while U.S.-born workers lost more than a million jobs, according to a study released Friday.
Native-born workers lost 1.2 million jobs in the year following June 2009, when economists say the recession officially ended, reported the Pew Hispanic Center, a division of the Pew Research Center.
In that same period of time, foreign-born workers gained 656,000 jobs, according to the center, which based its analysis on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Labor.
The study did not specify whether or not the immigrants were authorized to be in the United States. A separate Pew study released earlier this year said 7.8 million immigrants, about a third of the foreign-born labor force, are unauthorized.
One of the reasons why immigrants tend to outperform native-born Americans is because they’re willing to take less desirable jobs, said Kochhar [Rakesh Kochhar, association director of research at the Pew Hispanic Center].
“They’re generally more flexible,” he said. “They come here to work. They don’t care necessarily whether it’s in New York or L.A. or Dallas or Atlanta. They also tend to be more flexible in regards to the wages and the hours they put in.”
“It might be that in the search for jobs in the recovery, immigrants were more accepting of lower wages and reduced hours because many, especially unauthorized immigrants, are not eligible for unemployment benefits,” read the report.
The willingness for immigrants to take jobs that Americans don’t want was demonstrated this summer, when the United Farm Workers of America launched its “Take Our Jobs” campaign. In response to anti-immigrant rhetoric, the predominantly Hispanic union offered to place native-born workers in farm jobs. Several thousand Americans responded to the online ad, but only several people actually accepted the back-breaking, low-paying jobs.