Many highly educated immigrants coming to the U.S. without a job lined up have been unable to find work at their level of education, leading to considerable “brain waste,” Purdue University researchers have found.
Agricultural economics professors Brigitte Waldorf and Raymond Florax were on a team of researchers who analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and its American Community Survey to determine the prevalence and persistence of job-education mismatch among male immigrants in the U.S. from 1980 to 2009.
“Overeducation is more of a reality for people who come to the United States to be with family,” said Waldorf, co-author of the research. “They have not been recruited by a specific employer, and they often do not find a job that matches their education.”
The researchers found that, throughout the period, the level of education of nearly half of immigrants was above the education requirements for their job, compared with one fourth of men born and living in the U.S. The prevalence of such “brain waste” exceeded 40 percent for immigrants with a bachelor’s degree, 50 percent for those with a doctoral or professional degree and 75 percent for those with a master’s degree. The overeducation prevalence for U.S. natives was 10-20 percentage points lower. Over time, immigrants find suitable jobs, but not to the extent of U.S. natives.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Prevalence and persistence of job-education mismatch among immigrants to U.S..
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