Macro

Which Jobs Have The Highest (And Lowest) Share Of Foreigners?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 18% of the United States labor force consists of foreign-born employees. This rate has seen moderate increases over the past several years, although 2020 has proved especially devastating for foreigners working in the United States. It’s estimated that 38.4% of the drop in employment over the past year has been concentrated around foreign born persons.

Revelio Labs

5/25/21

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, roughly 18% of the United States labor force consists of foreign-born employees. This rate has seen moderate increases over the past several years, although 2020 has proved especially devastating for foreigners working in the United States. It’s estimated that 38.4% of the drop in employment over the past year has been concentrated around foreign born persons.

Despite this very recent trend, the share of foreigners within individual high-skilled occupations has remained fairly consistent and highly skewed; occupations ranging from specialists in the technology industry to researchers all exhibit a disproportionate share of foreign-born employees when compared to other prominent occupations within the United States. The drivers of these are numerous, from the creation of data centers in transitory cities like Atlanta, to the influx of foreign talent into Silicon Valley and New York. Yet an open question remains as to which occupations really offer the greatest diversification when it comes to the foreign and native United States workforce.

By tracking the country of origin of each worker within the United States, we can examine the share of foreigners by individual occupation, as well as the most disproportionately prominent country of origin for each category:

plot

And below is the most diverse (from the national average) occupation by each major city:

plot

Takeaways:

  • India remains a leading provider of top talent for tech companies, even after adjusting for the size of India’s workforce influx into the U.S.
  • Consistent with the notion that the U.S. tech industry has been lucrative for foreign workers, we find that the most diversified occupations (with share between 20-40% of the workforce) are concentrated within tech.
  • That said, we were surprised to find that while nearly half of all postdoctoral researchers are foreign, an exceedingly small portion go on to maintain careers in industrial sciences and pharmaceutical industries within the U.S.

If you have any ideas of other metrics to track or would like to hear more, please feel free to reach out.

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