Issuu on Google+

labor market integration of boston’s foreign born alvaro lima director of research, Boston Redevelopment Authority presentation at the ONB summit planning meeting October, 2008

City of Boston Thomas M. Menino, Mayor

Boston Redevelopment Authority John F. Palmieri, Director


  immigration policies in the U.S. have been almost entirely focused on procedures and prohibitions governing admissions:

Who? How many? What kind?


  the settlement, adaptation, and progress of immigrants is largely up to them:

… integration policies are skeletal, ad hoc, under-funded and dominated by the ideology of assimilation…

economic, political and social integration


let’s take a look at LABOR MARKET INTEGRATION 4


  between 2000 and 2006, Metro Boston’s foreign-born workforce increased by almost 94,000 people (an absolute increase of approximately 32%): Nativity Breakdown-Metro Boston’s Workforce- 2000 and 2006

Source: 2006 American Community Survey, BRA Research Division Analysis


  two aspects - educational attainment and language proficiency are key to the economic integration of the growing immigrant workforce:   Overall, there are significant differences in the educational levels of Metro Boston’s native and foreign-born workforces;   18% of Metro Boston’s foreign-born workforce has less that a high school education, compared to 6% of the native-born work-force;   Close to ½ of the native-born workforce has a 4-year college degree or higher compared to 38% for the foreign-born workforce; Educational Attainment by Nativity Status-Metro Boston’s Workforce

Source: 2006 American Community Survey, BRA Research Division Analysis


  in 2000, close to 55,000 members of Metro Boston’s workforce had limited English language skills (LEP);   by 2006, close to 88,000 members of Metro Boston’s workforce could be defined as having limited English language skills;   during this period , the foreign-born workforce grew 32% while the workforce with limited English language skills grew 37%; English Language Skills-Metro Boston’s Workforce- 2000 and 2006

Source: 2006 American Community Survey, BRA Research Division Analysis


  the foreign-born are over-represented in service and production occupations and under-represented in managerial and professional occupations. Occupational Distribution – Boston’s Foreign-Born vs. NativeBorn Workforce (2000)

8 *Universe: Labor Force (16 years and older) Sources: U.S. Census 2000, PUMS (5%) Sample, BRA Research Division Analysis


These results lend support to assertions that English language proficiency will become a significant economic issue as the foreign-born population begins to fill critical job vacancies.

Source: 2006 American Community Survey, BRA Research Division Analysis


Characteristics of the 2004 Labor Market • 

Overall, 64% of all jobs in the labor market fall in the medium-low or medium-high language skill categories.

• 

There is a clear connection between language skill requirements and salary. •  The highest language skill category pays almost 3 times more than the lowest language skill category.

• 

While there are jobs available to people with limited language skill, these jobs pay dramatically less than jobs requiring even modest language skills. All Jobs by Language Skill Requirement in Metro Boston-2004

Low

Medium-Low

Medium-High

Employment 19%

Employment 30%

Employment 34%

Employment 17%

Average wage $25,043

Average wage $33,145

Average wage $53,680

Average wage $71,117

.

Source: Labor Market Assessment Tool, Boston Redevelopment Authority Research Division Analysis

High


Characteristics of Expected New Jobs for 2014 •  The number of new jobs created in our region available to people with limited language skills will be severely limited.

• 

93% of new jobs created in the region will require at least modest language skills.

• 

Projected growth is much smaller in occupations requiring low and medium-low language skill as compared to medium-high and high language skill.

• 

New jobs in the highest language skill category pay more than 4 times better than new jobs in the lowest language skill category. Projected New Jobs (2004-2014) by Language Skill Requirement Low

Medium-Low

Medium-High

High

3% Growth

6% Growth

11% Growth

16% Growth

7% of New Jobs Average wage $17,998

20% of New Jobs Average wage $29,079

41% of New Jobs Average wage $57,930

32% of New Jobs Average wage $74,109 11

Source: Labor Market Assessment Tool, Boston Redevelopment Authority Research Division Analysis.


Language Skill Requirements in the Labor Market-Current and New Jobs

Language Skill

Low

Medium-Low

Medium-High

High

Wages-Current Jobs

$25,043

$33,145

$53,680

$71,117

Wages-New Jobs

$17,998

$29,079

$57,930

$74,109

Source: Labor Market Assessment Tool, Boston Redevelopment Authority Research Division Analysis.

12


Conclusions •  These data demonstrate that the foreign-born workforce and the workforce with limited English skills continues to grow in our region. •  Consistent with recent trends and previous research. •  Population trends indicate immigrants will likely be relied on to fill critical job vacancies in our region in the future. •  Human capital concerns. •  At the same time, we see significant disparities in the proportion, pay, and growth rates of occupations requiring low language skill and those that require advanced language skill. •  Quality of life issues for those with limited English skills. •  These data underscore the importance of ESOL courses. •  High demand for these classes—large waiting lists. •  Language skills in Greater Boston’s foreign-born workforce is both an economic development issue for the region, as well as a quality of life issue for a growing segment of the region’s population.

13


14


right now15,000 immigrants ESOL waitlists Commonwealth for

are on

in the

anywhere from 6 months to 3 years

15 Source: Department of Education (DOE), 2008; “The ESL Logjam,� National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials


Metro Boston’s foreign-born workforce increased by almost 94,000 (32%) between 2000 and 2006‌

16 Source: 2006 American Community Survey, BRA Research Division Analysis


In 2006 the number of Metro Boston’s workforce with limited English language skills was nearly 88,000 - an increase of 37% over 2000‌

17 Source: 2006 American Community Survey, BRA Research Division Analysis


now imagine -

ZERO ESOL waitlists 18


If these 88,000 workers were to move up one level‌ Key Characteristics of Occupations by Language Skill Requirements – All Industries

19%

Low

Average Salary

$25,043

30%

Medium-Low

$33,145

34%

17%

Medium-High

High

$53,680

$71,117

Note: Metro-Boston 2004

19 Source: Labor Market Assessment Tool, Boston Redevelopment Authority, Research Division, Analysis


it would look something like this‌. direct and indirect income

increases by $732 million

increased spending creates 1,134 new jobs GRP

increases by $108 million

$9 million

more in federal, state and local revenues

20


keeping the

status quo is not sustainable‌

21


  more than 10 million skilled workers will be leaving the workforce by 2010   the Baby Boom generation just hit 62 and is filing for Social Security benefits   the ratio of seniors to prime-working-age adults is expected to grow from 240 to 411 per 1,000   immigrants will be expected to fill this growing gap in the labor market   … and 93% of new jobs created in the region will require at least modest language skills 22 Source: 2004 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)


‌ that is, employment growth is much smaller in occupations requiring low and medium-low language skills Language Skill

Low

Medium-Low

Medium-High

High

Wages-Current Jobs

$25,043

$33,145

$53,680

$71,117

Wages-New Jobs

$17,998

$29,079

$57,930

$74,109 23

Source: Labor Market Assessment Tool, Boston Redevelopment Authority Research Division Analysis.


so, ‌ additional investment in ESOL would raise productivity boost GRP raise HH incomes and increase government revenues 24


Labor Market Integration of Boston’s Foreign Born