Employment Rate of Illegal Aliens Higher than Citizens

man-311326_640New data from the Pew Research Center found that illegal alien males are more likely to be working than male U.S. citizens or legal immigrants. Pew Senior Demographer Jeffrey Passel presented the data during a March 26 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing intended to be about securing the border but instead focused on granting amnesty to illegal aliens. (Video of the hearing available here)

According to Pew, in 2012 — the most recent data available — there were 8.1 million illegal aliens working in the U.S. unlawfully. (Passel Testimony, Mar. 26, 2015 at 6) Department of Labor statistics show that illegal aliens made up approximately 5.1% of the 155 million person workforce (82.3 million men; 72.7 million women) in 2012. (Department of Labor statistics) Pew’s data found that illegal alien males of working age — defined as age 16 and older — are “considerably more likely to be in the workforce than U.S.-born men.” (Passel Testimony at 6-7) Specifically, 91% of illegal alien males of working age are in the workforce compared to 79% of U.S. citizen males and 84% of male legal immigrants. (Id. at 7) Additionally, Pew found that 61% of illegal alien women are in the workforce compared to 72% of U.S.-born women. (Id.)

Pew’s data also focused on the types of jobs illegal aliens have and the states where they make up the largest share of the workforce. “Because unauthorized immigrants tend to have less education than people born in the U.S. or legal immigrants, they are more likely to hold low-skilled jobs,” the report noted. (Id.) Accordingly, approximately 56% of illegal alien workers work in three sectors: services (22%); leisure and hospitality (18%); and construction (16%). (Id.) By comparison, 31% of U.S.-born workers are employed in these three sectors. (Id.) Finally, Pew noted that manufacturing (13%) and agriculture (5%) have “relatively large shares” of the illegal alien workforce. (Id.) Illegal aliens represent the highest share of the labor force in Nevada (10.2%), California (9.4%), and Texas (8.9%). (Id. at 6)

Read more FAIR Legislative Updates

About Author


Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    “Pew’s data found that illegal alien males of working age — defined as age 16 and older — are ‘considerably more likely to be in the workforce than U.S.-born men.’ ”
    This is just more evidence – if any were really needed – that the government’s 50-year-long effort to replace the historic American nation with low-wage Third World peasants who will vote for liberal Democrats is working even better than expected. Abajo los gringos.

  2. avatar

    American Citizens aren’t Needed Anymore

    Foreign replacements work cheaper and we’re not hiring for the best employee with English and Cultural skills anymore , like smart companies hire. That would be Racist.