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June Economic Snapshot: Immigrant Employment Trends

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June Snapshot

By Christian Johnson, Economic and Research Analysis Research Fellow

NYC is home to the largest immigrant population of any city in the U.S.  

While foreign-born immigrants comprised 13.1% of the entire U.S. population and 16.5% of the U.S. labor force in 2013, foreign-born immigrants accounted for 37% of all NYC residents and 46% of the NYC labor force. 

Foreign-born workers are not only able to find work in NYC, but have also found opportunities to grow businesses of their own; a disproportionate share of incorporated businesses in NYC, 47.6%, are owned and operated by foreign-born workers.june figure 1

In the June 2015 Economic Snapshot, we explore the employment trends and entrepreneurship of foreign-born immigrants in New York City. As of 2013, over 1.9 million immigrants to the United States worked in New York City, with 1.6 million of those also living here.

Other Highlights:

  • NYC residents born in Colombia appear to be the most entrepreneurial of foreign-born NYC residents, with nearly 20% of all Colombian civilian employees who are living in NYC running a business (both non-incorporated and incorporated) as their primary job. 
  • Foreign-born NYC immigrants arriving from Asia rose by 7.4%. This increase was led by China, which saw its migrant population in NYC increase by more than 40% over the same period.
  • Indians comprised the largest number of immigrants commuting into the city for work, with 75,900 Indian immigrants working in NYC but just 40,400 Indian workers living in NYC.
  • For both native-born and foreign-born NYC residents, educational, health and social services is the primary sector of employment, with 27% and 25.5% employment rates respectively. (See Figure 3 below)

june snapshot figure 3

Throughout the month of June, the White House is celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month. As a nation founded and built by immigrants, it is a time to reflect on our heritage and celebrate immigration to the United States. Be sure to share your American story, as part of the New Americans Project. 

Read the June 2015 Economic Snapshot to learn more about the significant role immigrants play in New York City's economy. For all other economic reports, visit our economic data archive on the Economic and Research Analysis page

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