Immigrant youth in the labor market

Krista M. Perreira, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Dohoon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The past two decades witnessed unprecedented growth in the number of children of immigrants living in the United States. The successful socioeconomic adaptation of these youth to the United States will be determined, in part, by their early work experiences. The authors use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) to evaluate differences in the work participation of youth enrolled in high school by immigrant generation. They find that immigrant youth work significantly less during middle and high school than their native-born peers. However, these native-immigrant differences in youth labor-market participation decline as high school graduation approaches. Native-immigrant differences in youth labor-market participation partially reflect differences in the racial-ethnic compositions of first-, second-, and third+-generation cohorts. Beyond race and/or ethnicity, native-immigrant differences in youth labor-market participation also stem from systematic differences in their family socioeconomic characteristics, school orientations, social networks, and labor-market opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-34
Number of pages30
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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