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Unemployment rates for foreign- and native-born workers in 2021 remained higher than in 2019

June 10, 2022

The unemployment rate for foreign-born workers decreased from 9.2 percent in 2020 to 5.6 percent in 2021. The unemployment rate for native-born workers followed a similar pattern, declining from 7.8 percent in 2020 to 5.3 percent in 2021. In 2021, both unemployment rates remained above their pre-pandemic rates in 2019.

Unemployment rates of foreign-born workers and native-born workers, 2019–21
Year Foreign born Native born

2019

3.1% 3.8%

2020

9.2 7.8

2021

5.6 5.3

In 2019, the unemployment rate for the foreign born (3.1 percent) was lower than that of the native born (3.8 percent). That trend had held from 2013 until 2020, when the foreign-born jobless rate (9.2 percent) rose above that of the native born (7.8 percent). In 2021, the foreign-born jobless rate (5.6 percent) remained slightly higher than that of the native born (5.3 percent).

The foreign born are people who live in the United States but who were not U.S. citizens at birth. These data are from the Current Population Survey. To learn more, see “Foreign-born Workers: Labor Force Characteristics — 2021.”

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Unemployment rates for foreign- and native-born workers in 2021 remained higher than in 2019 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/unemployment-rates-for-foreign-and-native-born-workers-in-2021-remained-higher-than-in-2019.htm (visited August 16, 2022).

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