THE EFFECT OF THE GREAT RECESSION ON IMMIGRANTS RESIDING IN BORDER STATES. DID BORDER ACCESS REDUCE THE CHANCES OF UNEMPLOYMENT?
Hardy, Jennifer Ann
The Great Recession had a disproportionately negative effect on the employment, wages and hours of immigrants. This paper analyzes whether immigrants living in Border States exhibited a higher or lower probability of unemployment during the recent Recession than immigrants residing elsewhere by examining data from the 2005-2011 Current Population Survey. On one hand, immigrants in the Border States should exhibit a higher probability of unemployment because of their overrepresentation in the workforce and their relatively low levels of educational attainment. On the other hand, the residing in a Border State may provide advantages and opportunities for immigrants to mitigate their vulnerability to unemployment during recessionary periods. Given that no literature specific to the Border State region exists, this paper seeks to fill that void. This study found that immigrants residing in Border States earn less and worked fewer hours than immigrants residing elsewhere. Mexican and Central American immigrants residing in Border States during the Great Recession were less likely to experience unemployment than immigrants and natives residing elsewhere. Additionally, significant differences among the Border States exist. The findings of this study underscore the need for policymakers to amend current U.S. immigration policy to make immigrant inflows more cyclical thereby reducing immigrant unemployment during recessionary periods.
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