Foreign-born workers’ recovery catches up with that of native-born: New Hires Quality Index

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The Upjohn Institute New Hires Quality Index shows the earnings power of people starting a new job in April was down 0.3 percent from its peak but still 0.4 percent above last year’s mark. Hiring volume continued to edge up, but too slowly to expect a complete jobs recovery anytime soon.

In this month's release, Index creator Brad Hershbein compares trends for native-born and foreign-born workers. Both groups lost jobs early in the pandemic but the foreign-born workforce, being concentrated in service occupations, suffered worse losses.

Following the early-pandemic layoffs, hiring surged among both groups in the summer of 2020. Foreign-born worker hiring skyrocketed to 22.2 percent above its prepandemic levels, however, while hiring volume for native-born workers rose 12.1 percent.

Taken with the lack of steady growth in the wage index, the accelerating hiring volume suggests that foreign-born workers are having a stronger hiring recovery, on average, from the pandemic recession than the native-born workers.

Read the full release or explore the Index.    

Date: June 2, 2021