Immigration and policy concerning immigrants has never been a hotter topic in the United States. While there are reasons to be concerned about immigration, it’s largely a net positive for the American economy. But that doesn’t dispel the concern many Americans feel as it relates to jobs and national security.
So the question then is: Is immigration really a threat to your job? Unless your employer is working the H1-B visa system over, or looking to pay below legal wages by hiring undocumented workers, it’s probably not. Still, it’s an issue that needs to be discussed and addressed.
When it comes down to the subject of what jobs and occupations are attracting the most immigrants, some are obviously more saturated than others. Typically, newcomers (especially undocumented workers) gravitate toward low-wage, unskilled labor. This can stem from a lack of skills, education, or experience, as well as language barriers or fear of deportation, among other factors. But educated, experienced, and driven people are coming to the U.S. as well, making jobs all across the economy more competitive. Ultimately, this benefits us and the job market. Though, in the short term, it can also make people fear for the jobs they do have.
Immigrants and the most popular jobs
A new report from Indeed outlines which sectors and jobs contain the highest share of immigrant workers. That is, the industries in which the highest percentage of employees are foreign-born.
“To identify these jobs, we used the Census’s American Community Survey (ACS), which asks respondents about their employment status, occupation, birthplace, and citizenship, among many other topics. We analyzed the data for all immigrants in the U.S., and then focused on those who have been in the country less than five years,” the report said.”
And interestingly enough, there’s this little tidbit: “The punchline is that compared with earlier immigrants, recent immigrants are more educated, more likely to come from Asia rather than Latin America, and less likely to work in occupations where they might compete directly with the native-born workers who were most supportive of Trump.”
Based on our findings from Indeed’s report, here are the 25 jobs currently employing the most foreign-born workers.
Kicking things off is the military. Approximately 5% of military-specific jobs in the U.S. are filled by immigrants. This often refers to civilian careers in the military industry, such as managerial roles. However, it is also possible for non-citizen immigrants to join the armed forces, provided they meet certain requirements.
24. Protective service
Indeed’s study shows that around 8% of the economy’s protective service jobs are filled by new Americans. This includes security guards and related occupations.
Roughly 8% of the jobs in the legal sector are filled by immigrants. Specific job roles in this category include, but are not limited to, clerks and attorneys.
22. Community and social service
When it comes to jobs in the community and social service sector, 10% are filled by immigrants. Though this particular category is quite broad in scope, occupations can include anyone that’s working for a relief agency or community organization.
One sector benefiting from immigration is education, where roughly 11% of jobs are filled by newcomers. This includes administrative roles, teachers, librarians, and more.
20. Office and administrative work
Mind-numbing office work may be dull, but it often pays fairly well and provides a predictable schedule. These are probably just some of the reasons why immigrants make up 11% of office-related roles.
19. Business operations
Indeed refers to this category as “business operations specialists,” which can mean an awful lot of things. Typically, though, you can think of it as someone working in business with some sort of specialization, such as analysis, or as having expertise in a specific software. Eleven percent of these jobs are filled by immigrants.
The extraction industry — businesses that typically specialize in extracting natural resources like oil — hires approximately 11% of the immigrant workforce.
17. Art, media, and sports
Indeed reports that “art, design, entertainment, sports, media” are all one big field, with 13% of it occupied by immigrant workers.
If it hasn’t become clear yet, immigrants occupy roles all across the job spectrum — going all the way to the top. In fact, many of them grow into, or are qualified right off the bat, for management positions. And the figures clearly reflect this fact, with 13% of the country’s management positions being currently held by immigrants.
Sales is a huge field, filled with all sorts of people. Like management roles, 13% of the country’s sales jobs are held by newcomers.
Installation, maintenance, or “repair” as Indeed calls it, is an occupational field composed of 14% immigrants. This includes a wide range of roles having to do with fixing or installing just about anything.
Around 14% of our financial specialists are from other countries, according to Indeed. These roles include people who sell insurance, investments, or anyone who works with money.
12. Health care practitioners
America needs doctors, and many immigrants are stepping into the role. Indeed’s research says that 15% of the country’s healthcare practitioners and technicians are from other countries.
11. Architecture and engineering
Architects and engineers hold fairly valuable and prestigious positions. According to Indeed, 19% of them are immigrants.
Transportation is an immense industry, employing huge numbers of people. This includes taxi and personal drivers, delivery drivers, and truckers, who have the pleasure of holding America’s most common job. Indeed says 19% of the jobs in transportation are held by immigrants.
9. Health care support
Health care practitioners need support from people like nurses and administrators. In these fields, 19% of the workers don’t originate from the States.
8. Personal care and service
Another extremely broad category is the personal care and service sector, which holds more than 20% of immigrant workers. This includes jobs like hairdressers, concierges, childcare workers, among others.
7. Life, physical, and social sciences
Scientists are increasingly coming from other countries. In the life, physical, and social sciences fields specifically, 21% of the work force is composed of immigrants.
6. Food and beverage
Twenty-two percent of workers in the food and beverage sector — ranging from work in restaurants to food production — are immigrants. This is a good thing, as we generally reap the benefits by trying all sorts of delicious foods from around the world.
Production is as broad a descriptor as you can find. For our purposes, we’ll assume this includes manufacturing jobs and other related occupations. According to Indeed, immigrants hold 23% of these positions.
4. Computing and mathematics
When it comes to anything involving computing and math, other countries are emerging as a valuable source of talent. In this sector, 24% of workers are newcomers.
Folks from other countries make up more than a quarter of the workforce in the construction industry. Twenty-seven percent of the workers in the industry are immigrants.
2. Building and maintenance
It feels like we’ve already covered both building and maintenance, but Indeed has it listed as a separate category. Newcomers hold 35% of these jobs.
1. Farming, fishing, forestry
Farming, fishing, and forestry is the sector with the highest share of immigrant workers. Immigrants make up 46% of the workforce in this industry.