Here's an astounding fact, especially given the current immigration controversy. In 2005 foreign-born workers only had a 4.6% unemployment rate, substantially lower than the 5.2% for native-born workers. That's according to a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just released this morning.

The truth is that the foreign born seem to be faring better in the labor market, right across the board. Whites, blacks, Asians, Hispanics--in all cases, the foreign-born have a lower unemployment rate. It's true at every education level too, except for college grads.

The bigest unemployment edge for the foreign-born is among young workers, especially in the 16-24 year range. That has implications for the politics of immigration.

Unemployment rate
Native-born Foreign-born
Overall 5.2 4.6
Less than high school 9.1 5.7
High school grads 4.8 4.3
Some college or associate 3.9 3.7
Bachelor's degree or higher 2.2 3.1
White non-hispanic 4.1 3.8
Black non-hispanic 10.5 6.6
Asian non-hispanic 4.2 3.9
Hispanic 7.2 5
16-24 11.7 7.8
25-34 5.3 4.4
35-44 3.9 3.8
45-54 3.4 4.2
55-64 3.1 5.1
65 and over 3.4 4.2
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