NEW REPORT// IMMIGRANT WORKERS’ IMPACT ON THE ILLINOIS LABOR FORCE

IMMIGRANT WORKERS’ IMPACT ON THE ILLINOIS LABOR FORCE, 2008-2017

Immigration policy was one of the most contentious political issues in the last presidential election. It is important to have a clear picture of the labor market profiles for U.S.-born and immigrant workers in Illinois. Historically, Illinois has been one of the gateway states for immigrants. Despite the widespread perception that immigrants take jobs away from U.S. workers and suppress native workers’ wages, the analyses of data from the annual American Community Survey between 2008-2017 shows that the non-naturalized immigrant share in the Illinois labor force has declined and that non-naturalized immigrants earn less than both U.S.-born and naturalized workers in most occupations. Conversely, select U.S.-born workers and naturalized workers benefit from immigrant inflows in their occupations, which have no impact on the wages of White U.S.-born Illinois workers.