TABLE 5.11 Cohort Percent Change in Occupational Earnings Among Immigrants Aged 21-65 Years at Admission, Relative to the Fiscal Year 1977 Cohort, by Region and Selected Countries of Birth

 

Men

Women

Region/Country of Birth

1977 Levels

FY 1994

1977 Levels

FY 1994

North/Central America

$17,970

-5.0

$16,851

0.0

Canada

24,925

-5.4

20,274

4.1

Cuba

18,211

-6.6

16,890

3.5

Dominican Republic

17,465

-1.2

17,976

17.7

Haiti

18,744

-0.6

17,281

11.2

Mexico

16,494

-1.3

15,841

-2.8

South America

19,487

-3.2

17,859

5.8

Africa

22,904

-23.1

20,504

-8.9

Asia

22,061

-11.7

20,264

-6.1

China, mainland

20,901

-5.5

19,490

-2.3

Hong Kong

22,946

3.2

20,529

12.0

India

27,384

-21.5

27,206

-18.2

Japan

21,428

11.7

19,316

1.9

Korea

21,273

-1.9

19,571

-5.8

Philippines

21,962

-8.5

20,212

-2.9

Taiwan

25,619

0.5

22,235

1.9

Vietnam

17,122

-27.6

16,829

-15.5

Europe

20,388

2.0

19,203

0.2

Ireland

20,246

8.6

19,061

0.1

Italy

19,098

10.2

18,746

21.0

Poland

18,848

0.2

18,677

4.8

Oceania

21,700

0.6

18,942

-2.0

All immigrants

21,267

-5.1

18,888

-0.5

rica, the last two being the earlier source of many physicians, whose entry was restricted during this period. The fall in occupational earnings among the Vietnamese reflects the changing composition of Vietnamese refugees.

To sum up, the decline in the relative skills of the foreign-born over the last few decades is not due exclusively to illegal immigrants or nonimmigrants. The data suggest that the relative skills of legal immigrants have also been falling over this period. In part, this decline reflects more severe limitations on entry placed on certain highly skilled immigrants (physicians) and the changing country of origin of refugees and other legal immigrants.

Economic Assimilation

To what extent do immigrants make up some of their initial wage deficits as they continue their lives and careers in the United States? Some of the economic



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