ERIC Number: ED386360
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr-19
Falling Back: The Declining Socioeconomic Status of the Mexican Immigrant Population in the U.S., 1980-1990.
Rivera-Batiz, Francisco L.
This report presents data showing that the socioeconomic status of Mexican immigrants in the United States fell sharply behind that of the total native-born population during the 1980s and also declined relative to that of Mexican Americans. Data from the 1980 and 1990 censuses demonstrate that during the 1980s, the earnings and per capita income of Mexican immigrants declined, when adjusted for inflation, while their poverty and unemployment rates rose sharply. The deteriorating economic condition of Mexican immigrants in the 1980s occurred in spite of their increased labor force participation, comparatively stable family structure, and stationary age for the population. The key reason for the decline in economic status is related to the deteriorating labor market position of unskilled workers in America. Given the high proportion of Mexican immigrants with educational attainment of less than a high school diploma, the collapsing labor market for unskilled workers severely curtailed their economic opportunities. Worsening socioeconomic status was also shared by other immigrant groups whose population contained a large fraction of unskilled workers. Public policies intended to ease the adjustment of recent immigrants to the labor market should be supported. Programs to raise English literacy, adult literacy courses, and immigrant apprenticeship programs should be considered as critical. Contains 12 data tables. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Inst. for Urban and Minority Education.