Immigrant Inclusion & Racial Justice

March 2011

By Manuel Pastor and Justin Scoggins

Please note: reports dated earlier than June 2020 were published under our previous names: the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) or the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII).

This brief memo re-examined the findings of a report by the Pew Hispanic Center (After the Great Recession: Foreign Born Gain Jobs; Native Born Lose Jobs by Rakesh Kochhar, C. Soledad Espinoza and Rebecca Hinze-Pifer, October 2010) which pointed to large immigrant jobs gains alongside native-born job losses since the beginning of the economic recovery.

This analysis drew attention to the volatility of the native- and foreign-born population estimates derived using the Current Population Survey (CPS)—the data set used in Kochhar, et al.’s report—and suggested that a focus on share measures, like the unemployment rate, might be more appropriate. It also suggested that the “official” dating of the recovery from June 2009 may have been misleading.

Utilizing the same CPS data but a more appropriate specification of the timing of the Great Recession and its aftermath yielded rather different results. The progress on unemployment rates in the recovery since the trough had actually been more positive for the native-born than for the foreign-born. The report suggested that while immigration may have certain negative effects on less-skilled workers, immigrants are generally good for the economy and are an important part of any long-term recovery.

Read our other publications by research area

    Immigrant Integration & Racial Justice

    Our work on immigrant integration and racial justice brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public to advance immigrant integration and racial equity.

    Economic Inclusion & Climate Equity

    In the area of economic inclusion, we at ERI advance academic theory and practical applications linking economic growth, environmental quality, and civic health with bridging of racial and other gaps; produce accessible and actionable data and analysis through the data tools; and establish research partnerships to deepen and advance the dialogue, planning, and actions around racial equity, environmental justice, and the built environment.

    Social Movements & Governing Power

    ERI’s work in the area of governing power includes: conducting cross-disciplinary studies of today’s social movements, supporting learning and strategizing efforts to advance dialogues among organizers, funders, intermediaries, evaluators, and academics, and developing research-based social change frameworks and tools to inform—and be informed by—real-world, real-time efforts towards a vision of deep change.

    Publications Directory

    In 2020, the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) merged to form the USC Equity Research Institute (ERI).

    The full list of publications published under our previous and current names can be found in our publications directory.

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