Snoozing on skilled immigrant labor

A canard about immigrants is that many come for the comfort of the welfare state. This is not the case for most newcomers, but it is true that excessive rules on the granting of professional licenses are too often a barrier to immigrant work.

A new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis finds that licensing regimes can particularly « limit employment options for immigrants. » Authors Tyler Boesch, Michou Kokodoko and Ryan Nunn analyzed data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey, which includes responses from immigrants regardless of their legal status. They find that « foreign-born workers are 7.7 percentage points less likely to be licensed than native-born workers. »


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