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Friday, June 10, 2011


College Educated Immigrants Outnumber Unskilled Immigrants

By Liz Goodwin


new Brookings report finds that college-educated immigrants now outnumber those who enter the United States with just a high school degree. The disparity is especially striking in urban areas, with college-educated immigrants outnumbering their high school diploma-lacking counterparts by 25 percent in 44 major U.S. cities. Overall, 30 percent of working-age immigrants have a college degree now, compared to just 19 percent in 1980. Only 28 percent of immigrants in the United States lack a high school education.
And the trend appears to have escalated. More college-educated immigrants came to the United States in the past 10 years than immigrants lacking a high school education, in part due to increased demand from U.S. employers. Half of all skilled immigrants are overqualified for their current jobs, the report finds. The Washington Post summarized the Brookings findings in a front-page report today, and found that some regional employers are increasingly favoring a foreign-born workforce.
Some employers may say they prefer immigrants to native-born workers. When Samir Kumar needs to hire employees for his Northern Virginia-based IT business, he often looks overseas. Not only do workers from India and Ukraine have the required training, but their expectations are lower, he said.
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