Immigrant youth in the labor market

Krista M. Perreira, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Dohoon Lee

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The past two decades witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of children of immigrants living in the United States. The successful socioeconomic adaptation of these youth to the United States will be determined, in part, by their early work experiences. The authors use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to evaluate differences in the work participation of youth enrolled in high school by immigrant generation. They find that immigrant youth work significantly less during middle and high school than their native-born peers. However, these native-immigrant differences in youth labor-market participation decline as high school graduation approaches. Native-immigrant differences in youth labor-market participation partially reflect differences in the racial-ethnic compositions of first-, second-, and third+-generation cohorts. Beyond race and/or ethnicity, native-immigrant differences in youth labor-market participation also stem from systematic differences in their family socioeconomic characteristics, school orientations, social networks, and labor-market opportunities.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)5-34
    Number of pages30
    JournalWork and Occupations
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 2007


    • Adolescent work
    • Assimilation
    • Immigrants

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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