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Are There Really Jobs Americans Won’t Do?




Steven Camarota and Karen Zeigler


This analysis tests the often-made argument that immigrants do only jobs Americans don’t want. If the argument is correct, there should be occupations comprised entirely or almost entirely of immigrants (legal and illegal). But Census Bureau data collected from 2009 to 2011, which allows for detailed analysis of all 472 separate occupations, shows that there were only a handful of majority-immigrant occupations. Thus, there really are no jobs that Americans won’t do. Further, we estimated the share of occupations that are comprised of illegal immigrants, and found that there are no occupations in which the majority of workers are illegally in the country.

Number of pages



Center for Immigration Studies

Place published

Washington DC


Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Content types

Statistics on work and life conditions

Geographical focuses

United States