The share of all unauthorized immigrant workers with management and professional jobs grew to 13% in 2012 from 10% in 2007 — an overall increase of 180,000, according to new data from the Pew Research Center.
Meanwhile, the share with construction or production jobs declined to 29% from 34%.
“In a reflection of changes in the overall economy since the Great Recession, the U.S. unauthorized immigrant workforce now holds fewer blue-collar jobs and more white-collar ones than it did before the 2007-2009 recession,” Pew says.
Despite these advances, undocumented workers’ representation among all white-collar occupations remains low — just 2%. Agriculture has replaced construction as the industry with the largest share of undocumented workers. Sixteen percent of all ag workers were undocumented as of 2012, the most recent year for which data was available.
That compares with 12 percent for construction. In 2008, according to Pew, they comprised 14 percent of the construction industry and just 13 percent of farming.
“Unauthorized immigrant workers remain concentrated in lower-skill jobs, much more so than U.S.-born workers, according to the new estimates, which are based on government data. In 2012, 62% held service, construction and production jobs, twice the share of U.S.-born workers who did. The 13% share with management or professional jobs is less than half of the 36% of U.S.-born workers in those occupations.”