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An important recent labor market trend is the rapid increase in the number of immigrants employed in the information technology sector who have temporary worker status. The dual labor market theory suggests that temporary immigrant workers will be affected more adversely than native workers during a recession. This study uses OLS regression models to predict wages and employment levels (through usual hours worked) in information technology (IT) occupations as a function of immigration status, education level, age, gender, the recession and a set of interactive terms. The results from this study unexpectedly show that employment of native workers in IT occupations fell during the recession while the employment of temporary immigrant workers in IT occupations rose. Also surprising is that wages of temporary immigrant workers in IT occupations do not appear to be significantly different from their native counterparts in those occupations even during the recession. This suggests that employers retained temporary immigrants and even added to their employment to maximize productivity and fill a skills gap rather than realize alternative benefits of retaining native workers in long-term positions.


Economics | Labor Economics