April 15, 2008

Immigrants Work Harder than Blacks for Low-Pay

56%

That’s the percentage of adults in this country who agree that immigrants work harder than blacks at low-paying jobs, compared with 30% who disagree.

The public agrees that immigrants work harder than most blacks at low-paying jobs, but the margin is not as wide as when the comparison is made with white workers; 56% of adults agree that most immigrants work harder than most blacks; 30% disagree and 14% say they don’t know. Analyzing the responses to both sets of questions by the race of the respondent yields some interesting patterns. Blacks are even more likely than whites to say that their fellow blacks are out-worked by immigrants at low-wage jobs. Some 64% of blacks hold this view, compared with just 55% of whites. Black views on this question are virtually identical now to what they were in 1986, while whites have backed off a bit since 1986 from their view that immigrants work harder. Back then, 63% of whites said immigrants work harder than blacks at low wage jobs; today just 55% of whites say this. Similarly, in 1986, 65% of whites said immigrants work harder than whites at low-wage jobs; today, some 61% of whites say this. Hispanics, meanwhile, believe by heavy margins that immigrants work harder than both whites and blacks at low-wage jobs. By 67%-25% they say immigrants work harder than most blacks, and by 72%-22% they say immigrants work harder than most whites. Read More