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Immigration is Pumping the Job Market

Every month, the U.S. government releases job report data findings based on two surveys: the “establishment survey,” which gathers information from businesses and government agencies about overall job gains, and a household survey, which draws on information from households and the Census Bureau population estimates. The latter reports on the nation’s unemployment rate and most demographic data. 

In recent months, a puzzling discrepancy has emerged from these surveys: the establishment survey has reported hiring surging, while the household survey has shown it decreasing. Analysts have been struggling to interpret these findings, but a possible explanation has been identified, as per the New York Times: immigration has been pumping the job market. 

Economists suspect that immigrant workers may play a part in this data mystery. The hiring surge reported in the establishment survey makes sense: companies normally report hiring all types of workers, immigrants included. With the recent immigration uptick into the U.S., foreign-born workers have been replenishing the labor force that was once suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, because the immigration data that feeds into the Census population estimates is often delayed (by a year and half, economists say), the findings in the recent household surveys may not be the most accurate. Expert economists suggest that the payroll survey, therefore, is probably currently more reliable. 

While a precise explanation for the discrepancy in recent government surveys may still be in the works, it is almost certain that immigration has been boosting the U.S. economy. If you have any questions about work authorization or any other inbound U.S. immigration matters, please do not hesitate to contact Blaker & Granet LLP.

Credit: Smialek, Jeanna. “Immigration Is Helping to Meet Hiring Demand, and May Explain Data Mysteries.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 5 Apr. 2024,


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