IIR Releases New Report on Immigrant Workers in "Green" Jobs

IIR Releases New Report on Immigrant Workers in "Green" Jobs

The Institute for Immigration Research (IIR) has released a new paper, "Foreign-Born Green Job Workers in the United States." This paper highlights the role immigrant workers play in green jobs - those jobs that either benefit the environment directly or make their establishment's production more environmentally friendly. 

The full report and an executive summary are available here.

While 13 percent of the US population is foreign-born, 23 percent of green job workers are immigrants. The report looks at workers in four sectors: Cleaning, Installation, Business, and Science. In addition to demographic data about the immigrants working in these jobs, the paper also highlights the role of immigrant green job workers as "essential workers" during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Prior to the pandemic, the two occupations expected to grow at the fastest rate between 2018 and 2028 were both green occupations: solar and photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians. Immigrant workers were overrepresented in both of these occupations.

As the US and the world move forward with economic recovery, we have an opportunity to build a greener economy and ensure that the jobs created are good, decent jobs. There is likely to be greater demand for workers in green jobs in the United States, and immigrants may be important to filling those labor market needs.

The paper was written by former IIR graduate research assistants Ismail Nooraddini and Kevin Nazar. Both are PhD students in Sociology.