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ERIC Number: ED477544
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
The Characteristics of Bilingual and Monolingual U.S. Workers.
Fry, Richard; Lowell, B. Lindsay
This study analyzed the size and characteristics of monolingual and bilingual workers, using the 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey, which contains questions on English language Usage, second language usage, and language proficiencies. Interviews with a nationally representative sample of the U.S. adult population (in English or Spanish) investigated demographics, educational attainment in the United States and abroad, current labor force status and earnings, weeks worked during the prior year, and political and social participation. Results indicated that fluently English monolingual workers were the largest single grouping, though a sizable number of workers were either bilingual or more proficient in the second language. A sizable share of the labor force was monolingual, but not highly English proficient. There were notable differences between groups in distribution and outcomes within the labor market. About 75 percent of all workers were fluently English monolingual, and 6.5 percent were proficiently bilingual in English and another language. Native born workers comprised the largest population of bilingual workers. Skill in a second language, if accompanied by high English proficiency, related to higher pay and earnings. Proficient bilingual workers had the highest average wages of any language skill group. English/Spanish bilinguals and Spanish dominant workers experienced the poorest labor market outcomes, mainly due to poor education. (Contains 10 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A