TABLE 5.2 Average Hourly Wages and Earnings of Foreign-Born and Native Men in 1970, 1980, and 1990, Civilian Employed, Ages 25-64, 1995 Dollars

 

1970

1980

1990

Nativity and Time of Arrival

Hourly

Annual

Hourly

Annual

Hourly

Annual

Native-born

$19.00

$37,212

$19.83

$37,591

$19.41

$37,551

All foreign-born

19.29

36,043

18.93

34,164

18.06

31,935

Recent arrivals

17.08

30,156

16.18

27,107

15.17

24,318

Europe and Canada

19.20

35,779

20.04

36,648

21.52

41,957

Asia

18.09

29,863

17.54

29,548

16.97

28,026

Africa and Oceania

19.03

27,439

18.06

29,387

19.95

25,446

Other Americaa

15.00

26,259

14.68

23,035

13.04

19,594

Mexico

11.74

20,165

12.11

18,911

9.71

14,251

Earlier arrivals

20.40

38,981

20.71

38,750

20.06

37,228

Europe and Canada

21.69

41,942

22.45

43,299

24.07

47,270

Asia

20.00

37,980

24.00

46,883

24.67

46,385

Africa and Oceania

17.77

33,477

24.25

46,833

19.05

36,746

Other Americaa

17.87

32,506

18.19

33,011

18.78

33,564

Mexico

13.57

24,498

15.97

26,153

13.17

21,846

Notes: Recent arrivals are defined as foreign-born men who arrived in the 10 years preceding the census year, and earlier arrivals include all other foreign-born men in the sample. Hourly wages are computed by dividing annual earnings from wages and self-employment income by weeks worked and average hours per week. The sample is men aged 25-64 years who worked at some point in the preceding year, were not self-employed, did not reside in group quarters, and were not in the armed forces at the time of the census.

a ''Other America" includes Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.

The widening gap between recent immigrants and natives is accounted for at least in part by the shift in immigrants' home countries: immigrants in 1990 included large numbers from Latin America and Asia, whereas in 1970 a larger share came from Europe. Recent male immigrants from Europe did well relative to natives throughout this period, moving from a slight deficit in earnings relative to natives in 1970 to substantially higher earnings in 1990. In contrast, recent male immigrants from the countries that are now the dominant sources (in Asia and Latin America) earned much less than natives. For instance, wages and annual earnings of recent male immigrants from Mexico were less than half those of native-born workers, and they were also substantially below those of recent male immigrants from other regions.4

4  

Male immigrants who had been in the United States for more than 10 years at the time of the census have much better labor force outcomes than did more recent arrivals. This group had somewhat higher wages than did natives in each of these years, but also had some decline in wages and earnings relative to natives, although the magnitude of that change was much smaller. Earlier arrivals as a group fared well relative to native-born workers, but there were substantial differences across region of origin for this group as well, with earlier immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean having substantially lower wages than those from Europe and Asia.



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