Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Filipino nurses are recruited to work in the U.S.

Berg, Judith A., Daisy Rodriguez, and Carolina De Guzman. 2004. “Demographic Survey of Filipino American Nurses.” Nursing Administration Quarterly 28(3): 199-206.

The article focuses on Filipino nurses working in the United States. Hospitals in the United States recruit nurses trained in the Philippines, in order to increase the nursing workforce of the United States. The study describes Filipino-American nurses’ demographics, years of practice, educational background, work status, job satisfaction, and plans of retirement. The study found that Filipino-American nurses received their education in the Philippines, attained a Bachelor’s degree of Science in Nursing (BSN), worked full time, were satisfied with their job, and planned for retirement after 12 years, on average.

Future research should include a follow-up on the status of the Filipino-American nurses at or towards the ends of their hoped-for 12 year retirement plans. Such research could reveal the impact which the nursing jobs in America has had on the nurses and their families, in regard to the education and occupational opportunities open to the following generations of the Filipino nurses. Future research could also include the implications which the transference of nurses from the job force of the Philippines to America has for both countries, such as the shortage of nurses in the Philippines and the increased number of nurses in America, and the continual recruitment of nurses due to the retirement plans of the Filipino American nurses.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

African American and job segregation

Browne, Irene, Cynthia Hewitt. 2001. “Why Does Job Segregation Lead to Wage Inequality among African Americans? Person, Place, Sector, or Skills?” Social Science Research 30:473-495.

This article examines the reasons behind job segregation for African American. The main finding for the sample in the Atlanta metropolitan area from the Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality is that job segregation is not the result of residential segregation. Rather, the findings show that it is the skill requirement of the jobs in which black people are employed at. That is to say, the jobs that African Americans are dominantly working in are service jobs that require little skill. Of course there are other inequalities leading to the little skills this African American population has, but in any case, these jobs provide little wages, little benefits, and little room for mobility. Future research should examine these findings with Asians, and other minorities.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Examination of Gendered Aspects of Labor Migration from The Philippines

Tyner, James A. 1996. The Gendering of Philippine International Labor Migration. Professional Geographer, 48(4):405-416

Tyner studied how the institutional practices of labor recruitment influences gendered and racially concentrated occupational patterns. The study offers an alternate view of migrant labor as it deals primarily with the gendered aspects of the migration process and the role of the Philippines government. The disproportional concentration of ethnic minorities in certain occupations and gendered labor patterns are not only the product of institutional practices in the United States. According to Tyner, it is a process that is not only responsive to specific demands or desires of countries such as the United States, but something where domestic gendered societal norms are enacted in terms of how recruiting of migrant labor is carried out. Recruitment practices are affected by gendered representation of occupations, locations, and workers. According to the article, the Philippines is the largest Asian exporter of labor. Of the approximately 500,000 migrant laborers that are deployed annually, 40% are women employed primarily in the service industry. In this study of Filipino labor recruitment practices, Tyner found that the segregation of labor by sex was enabled by controlling images that placed women in the role of caring for the needs of the body – in the forms of entertainers, domestic servants, or even the more technical occupation of nursing. In contrast, other occupations are portrayed as having masculine characteristics, with men more frequently depicted as being employed in professional or construction occupations. In brochures promoting the export of Filipino migrant workers, he found that the typical discourse of the appeasing yet hard working Asian was used to promote the desirability of Filipino workers to employers in the West. Filipino workers are promoted as “chosen from a breed of conscientious people” that are “loyal, disciplined, and obedient.” In terms of recruitment of women, Tyner found that women from rural areas were preferred over women from urban areas. He concludes that this preference is due to a mix of stereotypes that depict women from rural areas as more pure, docile, and harder working.

Monday, April 30, 2007


HK Filipinos Join Foreign Domestics in Big March-Rally Against Wage Cuts
Thousands of Filipino migrant workers joined foreign domestics from various nationalities in a big march-rally in Hong Kong to protest proposed wage cuts and the abolition of live-out arrangements. Organized Filipino domestics said President Arroyo had already supported the Chinese authorities’ twin moves.
Thousands of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) from various nationalities marched on the streets of Hong Kong Sunday to protest the proposed wage cuts and abolition of live-out arrangements. Filipinos, who compose the bulk of domestics on the Chinese island, made up the main contingent of the march.
The march, led by the Asian Migrant Coordinating Body, began at the Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to the Central Government Offices in Central.
The Filipino contingent, allied under the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (Unifil-HK), challenged the Philippine Consulate officials to join the big march-rally.
“Mean what you say,” Connie Bragas-Regalado, Unifil-HK chair, said. “Go beyond diplomacy. Turn your verbal opposition into action. March with Filipino domestic helpers against the anti-migrant policies of the Hong Kong government. Show your unwavering support to our struggle.”
Doubts on Arroyo
The challenge came in the wake of uncertainties raised by some sectors regarding the sincerity of the Arroyo government in supporting the Filipino domestics’ opposition to the proposed wage cuts and abolition of lived-out arrangements.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Consul General Maria Zeneida Angara-Collinson had stated that they are concerned about the wage cut proposal. But the Philippine consul general has publicly endorsed the abolition of the live-out arrangements by saying that the proposal would not "'adversely affect" domestic helpers.
Although the Philippine consulate, along with other foreign consulates, declared they will wage a “diplomatic offensive” with the Hong Kong government on the issue of pay cutbacks, there have been reports that, in her visit to Hong Kong last October, Arroyo had agreed to the plan as well as on the abolition of live-out arrangements. She made as a condition that the jobs of Filipino domestics are not affected.
Last week, at least 31 federations of Filipino migrant workers, church and support groups in Hong Kong demanded the island’s Education and Manpower Bureau to drop its plans to lower the wages of foreign domestics by January next year and other recent anti-migrant proposals.
Maintain minimum wage
The groups, including the Unifil-HK, Association of Concerned Filipinos, Friends of Bethune House and Filipino Friends in Hong Kong also asked the Chinese government to maintain the current low minimum wage of foreign domestics and allow them to live out of their employers’ homes.
In a statement, the groups cited one legislator, Choy So-yuk, who asked that wages of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) be reduced to HK$2,500 a month. They also said that the reason given by the Bureau for its plan – economic slump - is no different from what they claimed in 1998 when they lowered wages by 5%.
The Bureau’s plan came two weeks after it also moved to abolish the living-out arrangements of foreign domestic purportedly to protect the jobs of Chinese domestics. The plan is set to be implemented early next year.
Yet another move by Hong Kong authorities, as proposed by legislator Frederick Fung Kin Kee, is to limit the number of FDHs in the island to 100,000 in order, they said, to protect the jobs of Chinese workers. The proposal however is under further discussion in the light of fears by other authorities that the reduction of quota could lead to a shortage of domestics on the island.
Most lowly-paid
“We are opposed to lower our wages because as we stated in 1998, foreign domestic helpers are already the most lowly paid foreign workers in Hong Kong,” the groups said in their statement. “Since 1991, our wages have increased by only 3 times, the last of which was in 1996, when our wage was $HK3,860. Since the hand-over of Hong Kong to China, not only was there a wage freeze, but a wage cut of 5% in 1999.”
The organizations reminded Hong Kong authorities that the presence of FDHs contributes not only to the Chinese economy but also liberates local women from household chores thus enabling them to find work and increase the earnings of their families.
Reports said that foreign domestics – many of them Filipinos – usually work an average of 16 hours a day aside from being on call for 24 hours.
“They are given crucial responsibilities by their employers, like taking care of the children, elderly and in fact of the whole family,” the groups said. “Since most of them live in their employer's house, they are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation like being made to do illegal work by their employers.”
Lowering the wages of foreign domestics, they said, would lower their purchasing power thus further depressing the earnings of local retailers. It would also affect the remittances that they send back to their families who are faced by rising prices of basic commodities and services.
‘Racist and anti-migrant’
The groups denounced Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower Philip Chok Kin-fun for suggesting that FDHs are a factor in Hong Kong’s economic slump and for denying labor authorities are being “racist and anti-migrant” whenever government lowers the minimum wages of migrant workers.
In the first place, the groups said, Choc Kin-fun should realize that foreign workers were not behind the economic crisis in Hong Kong. Authorities, they said, are indeed racist and anti-migrant whenever migrant workers, especially domestics, become the target of a series of minimum wage cutbacks, infringements on other rights such as abolishing maternity benefits, imposing a service tax on maids and a levy on employers of FDHs. Bulatlat.com
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Labor Market Descrimination: American-Born Filipinos

Yamane, Linus. 2002. “Native-Born Filipina/o Americans and Labor Market Discrimination.” Feminist Economics. 8(2): 125-144.

The study discussed in this article draws on data gathered from 1990 US census to determine whether American-born Filipinos and Filipinas experience labor market discrimination. To do this, Yamane compares the incomes and positions of both Filipinas and Filipinos with non-hispanic white women and men. Yamane also attempted to examine the effects of gender discrimination in the comparisons. In addition, the study tests for any differences in the extent of discrimination experienced by Filipinos with different levels of education and in different regions of the country.

Yamane’s study did find Filipino Americans face significant levels of discrimination in the labor market. Less clear, however, is how the factors of gender and race operate and influence each other.


The sample from the census used to examine native-born Filipinos and non-Hispanic whites was comprised of persons between 25 and 64 who worked full-time (at least 35 hrs/wk), were not self-employed, earned at least $3,000, and worked for at least half of 1989.

To estimate the degree of discrimination experienced by Filipinos, Yamane, uses the “Oxaca Decompisition” (a tool economists use to examine racial and gender discrimination). The process involves examining characteristics (age, education, experience, hours worked, weeks worked, region of residence, industry, occupation, and marital status) that are theoretically relevant to the determination of wages. Estimates are made to determine the effect each characteristic influence the wages earned. Using the outcome of various equations, Yamane could compare actual wages with the estimation of earnings if treated the same as non-Hispanic whites. Similar calculations were used to estimate discrimination in terms of job advancement and wage levels compared to education levels obtained.


In separate examinations, Yamane compared Filipinas to both white men and women, but both comparisons revealed that Filipinas are disproportionately more likely employed in occupational categories like administrative support, domestic services, the hospitality services, and retail sales (cashiers). They are also underrepresented in “professional specialty occupations,” like elementary school teachers, as well as skilled labor jobs like machine operators, assemblers, and assembly inspectors. However, in comparison to white men, Filipinas were also disproportionately in occupations hospital-related services (nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants) and underrepresented in production, craft, and repair occupations.

In Yamane’s comparison of Filipino males with white males, it was revealed that Filipinos are disproportionately represented in administrative support, protective services (like security guards), technical support, hospitality services, retail, and the military. Like Filipinas, Filipinos are underrepresented in professional specialty occupations (like teachers), machine operators and in management.

In regards to wages, Yamane found no statistically significant difference between those earned by Filipinas and white women. However, compared with the earnings of white men, Filipinas were estimated to earn 20-24% less (statistically significant at the 5% level). Another finding that was statistically significant, Yamane found that Filipino men earn 1-4% less than white men in terms of annual wage and salary.

In comparison of regions, the calculations indicate that Filipino men and women generally do better in the West (with the exception of California and Hawaii) and they fair worst in the South and Northeast. However, in comparing by gender, Yamane did not find a strong relationship between the level of discrimination faced by Filipino men and Filipinas in the same regions.

Although there seemed to be some expectation that Filipino regional population size would impact the outcome, the varying results for Hawaii, California, the West, and South (some of the regions where the population is most significant) indicated to Yamane that there is not a clear relationship between discrimination and population size.

As far as access to advancement is concerned, Yamane’s evidence suggested that Filipino Americans are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to be promoted to a supervisor or manager level position. Yamane does point out, however, that the source for the study – census data – does not distinguish between varying levels of status that could accompany the title of “manager” and it does not indicate whether higher positions were offered, but rejected or simply denied.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Socio-Economic Status of Native Hawaiians

Reynolds, `Aukai. 2006. “Native Hawaiian Data Book.” Office of Hawaiian Affairs. (http://www.oha.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=102&Itemid=178).

The OHA’s report summarizes reports from The Kamehameha Schools, Policy Analysis and System Evaluation (PASE); the State of Hawai’i Dept. of Health, Dept. of Public Safety, Dept. of Hawaiian Homelands, Dept. of Business, Economic Development & Tourism; University of Hawai’i, US Dept. of Commerce, and the US Census Bureau.

It contains detailed information on the Native Hawaiian population, but with a few exceptions, it does not provide much comparative information with the rest of the state or nation. Given the small percentage of the population Native Hawaiians comprise, overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in the service and retail industries is implied by the high concentration of the native population in those industries.


There are approximately 401,162 Native Hawaiians in Hawaii and the continental US, with about 60% (239,655) Native Hawaiians residing in the State of Hawaii. According to the report, population forecasts predict that while the state population continues to increase, the Native Hawaiian population is slowly decreasing. The cause is allocated to the increasing cost of living and limited economic opportunities.

Statewide, 62% of Native Hawaiians living in Hawaii have annual household incomes under $50,000. On the island of Molokai, 43% of Native households have incomes under $24,000 and 75% of households with incomes under $50,000. Oahu and Maui have the largest percentages of households with income over $50,000 (49% and 48% respectively). According to the data in the report’s “Human Services” section, in 1999 Native Hawaiian-headed families have a poverty rate of 14.1%. – and 31.3% in households headed by a female Native Hawaiian-headed household with no husband present. This is well above the national poverty rates for whites (Social Solutions to Poverty, Scott Myers-Lipton, 2006).

While Native Hawaiian males and females over the age of 16 have, on average, a higher rate of employment than the US average (approximately 72% and 65% respectively), they also are more likely to be unemployed compared with those on the continental US. Most Native Hawaiians are employed in the private sector as salaried workers. The second largest segment of Native Hawaiians is employed as government workers. Compared with the rest of the US population, Native Hawaiians are less likely to be employed in managerial and professional occupations (25% of Native Hawaiians compared with 34% of the rest of the US population).

Close to half (44%) of the population is employed in the service industry (Business Services, Accounting, Amusement & Recreation, and Personal Services). Other industries include retail (11%) and construction (7%). The report concludes that an increase in the number of Native Hawaiian-owned businesses is necessary to increase the wealth of Native Hawaiians.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Channeling Migrants into Industrial Sectors

Ellis, Mark, and Richard Wright. 1999. “The Industrial Division of Labor among Internal Migrants to the Los Angeles Economy.” International Migration Review 33(1): 26-54.

This article seeks to identify the processes by which groups of native- and foreign-born migrants are channeled into particular industrial sectors. Ellis and Wright (1999) present a comparison of the employment of recent arrivals and the residents of several ethnic groups in the regional economy of Los Angeles, California Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA). The study also takes into consideration educational attainment and the qualifications which play a role in the distribution of migrant groups into particular occupations.

Ellis and Wright (1999) note that in the 1970s and -80s, since migrants to Southern California faced an array of jobs, then a portion of the new arrivals from each migrant racial group should have come to occupy jobs that were outside of “existing ethnic employment concentrations” (p.30). The proportions of new arrivals filtering into certain jobs vary, due to three possible reasons. The strength of ethnic group networks relaying job information between residents and migrants is a variable upon which the chances of new migrants finding work in an ethnic niche depends. The second reason for different proportions of new arrivals in certain jobs is the size of a racial-ethnic group’s work force (that constitutes of residents), in relation to the racial-ethnic group’s immigrants. If the migrant flow of a racial-ethnic group’s new arrivals is small, relative to the group’s residential work force in a particular job, then the new arrivals may more easily posit into the ethnic niches. It follows, then, that if the migrant flow of a racial-ethnic group’s new arrivals is large, relative to the size of the group’s work force, then not all of the group’s immigrants will be able to occupy the ethnic niche. As a result, migrants may occupy other sectors in which there is no existing concentration of the racial-ethnic group. The last factor that influences the dispersal of migrants of racial-ethnic groups into particular occupations is the different levels of education and skills required for certain jobs. The greater the skill differences between residents and migrants, then the greater the difference between the distributions in employment of co-ethnic residents and migrants. Migrants utilize ethnic networks and skills to find employment.

Ethnic networks serve as a more efficient source of employment for racial-ethnic groups’ immigrants than for the group’s native residents. However, not all of these groups’ networks are strong. The utilization of a combination of resources, such as ethnic networks, education, and most importantly, skill, influences the allocation of immigrant racial-ethnic groups into occupational sectors.

The data used for the study was obtained from the Public use Micro Samples of the U.S. Census (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1983, 1993). The study defined four major categories of workers: resident native-born, resident foreign-born, recent in-migrant, and recent immigrant. While the study analyzes aggregate employment patterns of in-migrant and immigrant groups, the majority of the research consists of the comparison of individual groups. The six largest immigrant groups were analyzed. Making up 72% of the immigrants into Los Angeles CMSA between 1985 and 1990, these groups – Mexicans, Salvadorans, Filipinos, Guatemalans, Koreans, and Chinese – each have more than 10,000 recent migrants in the work force, thus providing for sufficient numbers for a significant analysis of the economy of the Los Angeles region.

The employment distribution of Filipino residents is closest to that of Filipino immigrants. Filipinos, Koreans, and Chinese immigrants occupy sectors in which these groups’ residents work. Mexicans, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan residents are the least likely to have co-ethnic immigrants occupy their sectors.

Ellis and Wright note a division of labor by education within groups of native white, black, Chinese and Filipino migrants. In the case of Koreans, however, recent arrivals and Korean-born residents work in the same sectors at all levels of education. Regardless of years of education, new Mexican arrivals occupy the same sectors as the least educated residents (of all racial-ethnic groups). Unlike other racial-ethnic groups, Mexicans do not concentrate into sectors in which co-ethnic residents are employed.

Future Research: As the data is somewhat dated by about 20 years, newer information would be more useful. Future research could explore any changes in the economic and social structure, in terms of availability of certain jobs, of Los Angeles, as well as take into account new patterns of immigrant waves.

The Impact of the Structure of Ethnic Diversity in the Workplace

Enchautegui-de-Jesus, Noem`i, Diane Hughes, Kristen E. Johnston and Hyun Joo Oh. 2006. "Well-being in the Context of Workplace Ethnic Diversity." Journal of Community Psychology 34(2): 211-223.

In this study, the authors examine how ethnic diversity in the workplace affects the overall mental and psychological well-being of workers of color. As well as looking at the individual effects, this study looks at the topic of ethnic diversity in the workplace as important because
it reflects society's changing face of the American blue-collar worker.

This article defines diversity as "the representation of different social categories often based on gender, race, or ethnicity, in an organization"(212). Based on this definition, the authors examine two important concepts on ethnic diversity, which they base the study's hypotheses. One end of the cultural spectrum is tokenism, which is "a segregated work environment in which the minority group comprises less than 15% of the working group"(212). The other end of the spectrum is the concept of ethnic minority concentration, which is when a workplace has workers that are concentrated to one ethnic group.

The purpose of this study was to first, examine the psychological functioning, life-satisfaction, job satisfaction, and over all well-being of workers of color. Second, the authors wanted to test the differences between workplaces that had workers of color with a high ethnic proportion. The overallhyopothese was that a workplace that had a proportion of above tokien level of diversity and lower ethnic minority concentration, would create a better working environment, and in turn, a happier worker.

The researchers collected their data fron The Survey of Minority (MIDUS), which is a survey based on a stratified sample of men and women, ages 25 and older. The survey sampled African Americans and Dominicans in New York City, Mexicans in Chicago,andPuertio Ricans in both cities. Respondents were asked questions on their highest level of school completed, median income, years at job, and job position. Also asked was the ethnic composition of their workplace, whichethnicity's were dominant or sparse, and the worker's overall feeling of being a worker
of color in a low-wage job. Most respondents had only graduated from high school and their median income was $25,000-$29,999. 57% of respondents were immigrants.
Results of this study found that people who worked in a more balanced environment (no high or low levels of co-ethnic workers) reported a more positive level of job satisfaction than workers in a tokien or ethnic minority concentration environments.

The authors of this article felt that the topic of workers of color must be
looked at because people of color are overrepresented in low-paying,low-status jobs. Also, because the growing numbers of workers of color in America are changing the face of the U.S. labor force. The questioning of ethnic composition in the workplace is important for creating a positive environment for all workers and for understanding of the impact of the structure of workplace.

Future Research: As the authors suggest, there needs to be further research on this topic that expands to the topic of the ethnicity of employees at different levels, types of jobs, the working environment, and the quality of working relationships in low-wage, low-status jobs.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Preference Theory: Sex Segregation

Hakim, Catherine. 2006. “Women, careers, and work-life preferences.” British Journal of Guidance & Counselling. 34:279-294.

Trying to find some sort of theoretical background as to why there is occupational segregation, I came across an article identifying how the US and Britain have tried to solve the problem of gender discrimination/segregation in the workplace. Although there has been an increase of women working in the labor market, and family-friendly policies have been set in place to somehow offset the gender inequalities, Catherine Hakim (2006) from the department of Sociology in the London School of Economics, and other sociological theorists agree that neither one of these “make any major positive difference to gender equality in the labour market, as indicated by levels of occupational segregation, the pay gap and the glass ceiling”. On the Contrary, they exacerbate these problems” (281).

The fact is, although women might be able to join the work force, if they want to have children and a family, they cannot work the long irregular hours, travel for work, or be full time. That is, part-time jobs that would pay the same wages as full time jobs are a rarity in the US and Britain. On the other hand, many men who are married and have children have the “luxury” of mentally and physically working for 24 hours a day, because their wives are at home with the children (Harkim 2006). Therefore, even if there are more women in the work force, they are working in low-income part time positions. An example of this type of low-paying job would be a school teacher.

In addition employers and other employees feel it is unfair for women to get child leave, while the rest of the workers are working overtime to do the work left by the mothers who are on leave. Here, the employers are angry because they are forced to pay extra to the overtime workers, and the other employees are jealous because they do not get any paid leave (Harkim 2006).

Harkim examines two types of occupational segregations 1-Horizontal and 2-Vertical. The former means segregation by choice of job, for example, men might choose to be carpenters while women might choose to be school teachers. The latter means segregation when men monopolize the dominant job positions. With that said, Harkim writes that macro-level studies cannot tell anything about the social processes at the micro-level. “It is wrong to assume that a low percentage of women in higher-grade jobs is necessarily due to sex discrimination alone” (285). She suggests examining the women with dominant positions—most are childless, or have only one child, and these women express so-called “masculine” characteristics, thereby perpetuating dominant male ideals.

To express another reason why there is sex segregation, Harkim suggests “Preference theory” predicts the polarization of work-lifestyles. “Preference theory specifies the historical context in which core values become important predictors of behaviour” (286). Harkim’s table of preferences shows approximately 20% of women are “home-centered” (stay-at-home moms), 60% of women are “adaptive” (try to balance work and home life), and 20% of women are “work-centered” (work-a-holics, mostly childless) (288). From this spectrum, Harkim claims that men remain dominant and sex segregation continues because only a minority of women are work-centered. Since part-time jobs are rare, in relation to sustaining a family while working, women choose jobs like teachers, or seasonal/ temporary occupations.

The implications of this are that increased women in the labor market does not matter, equality policies are misdirected because they overlook people with other life goals. Furthermore the wage gap and glass ceilings persist because high paying part-time work rarely exists. Finally, so-called equity policies create a jealous atmosphere for those who do not get gender neutral policies for paid leave.

As for the future, Harkim suggests gender-neutral policies, like the ones in the Netherlands, where anyone has the right to ask for part-time hours, rather than part-time wages. Also, mothers should not be the only ones with paid leave; other workers should get longer paid vacations or paid leave for their personal reasons.

Future Research:

Would this phenomenon be similar for migrant women, or even migrant men? Is sex segregation or racial segregation a cause of differing life goals? What cities, racial-ethnic groups are affected most?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Overrepresentation of Immigrant Workers in San Francisco Hotel Industry

Wells, Mariam J. 2000. “Unionization and Immigrant Incorporation in San Francisco.” Social Problems. 47:241-265.

This study explores the changing demographics of San Francisco hotel workers from 1970-1990. The author's focus is on the impact an increase of immigrant workers has on the ability to unionize. She does so using the success of the hotel workers union, H.E.R.E (now called U.N.I.T.E H.E.R.E), as a case study. Occupations such as cooks, dishwashers, bussers, and room cleaners are more than ¾ immigrant - the largest groups being Chinese, Filipino, Central American, and Mexican. Positions such as receptionist are predominantly white and held by citizens. “Front of the house” positions are generally paid more than “back of the house” positions. White men hold the most privileged positions, while women of color hold the least. In the hotel industry in San Francisco From 1970-1990, minority, immigrant, and non-citizen population has risen, while non-Hispanic, white and citizen population has plunged. White and Black groups are underrepresented while minority groups are over represented in the San Francisco hotel industry. For example, Filipino’s comprise 5.4% of the city’s population, but make up 13.7% of the industry population. The article includes a chart comparing the city population and industry population of all ethnic groups. Historically, hotel workers have predominantly been less white & comprised of more minorities compared to the rest of the population, but this change has increased. Wells concludes that the workers are clustered in such a way because of 3 factors: employer recruitment practices, immigrant reliance on social networks to find jobs, and native workers preference for non-menial positions.

The article demonstrates a growing trend of a predominantly immigrant low wage workforce in San Francisco’s service sector. It would be interesting to see how the trend continues from 1990-2000.

1970 – San Francisco’s population 5% foreign born
1990 – 34% foreign born

  • Majority of increase is Asian-Pacific Islanders (56% of foreign born residents) and Hispanic (21% of foreign born residents)
  • Asian Pacific Islander group: 2/3 are Chinese and 1/5 is Filipino
  • Hispanic group: 38% are Central American, 40% are Mexican

Occupations (1970)

  • Managers: 93.8 White, 6.3% Black, 0% API, 0% Hispanic, 0% Other
  • Receptionists: 100% White
  • Room Cleaners: 20.6% White, 47.1% Black, 11.8% API, 20.6% Hispanic, 0% Other

Occupations (1990)

  • Managers: 67.4% White, 0.8% Black, 16.8% API, 10.7% Hispanic, 4.3% Other
  • Receptionists: 76.5% White, 0% Black, 0 API, 23.5% Hispanic, 0% Other
  • Room Cleaners: 5.8% White, 8.3% Black, 51.8% API, 33.6% Hispanic, .06% Other

Room cleaners make up about 27% of all hotel workers and contribute the largest share of immigrant workers, meaning that the largest body of San Francisco immigrants in the hotel industry are Asian Pacific Islander and Hispanic women that clean rooms. Immigrants are 77% of the cooks, 80% of food preparers, and 85% of room cleaners

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Immigrant Filipinas/Immigrant Asian Indian women/non-Hispanic white women

Torres Stone, Rosalie A., Bandana Purkayastha, Terceira Ann Berdahl. 2006. “Beyond Asian American: Examining Conditions and Mechanisms of Earning Inequality for Filipina and Asian Indian Women.” Sociological Perspectives. 49:261-281.

To explore whether highly educated non-white immigrant women do as well as non-Hispanic white women in the U.S. labor market, this study examines educated women of color in the U.S. labor market using 1% of the 2000 Integrated Public Use Microdata Series census data. This study took statistics from people living in New York City, Chicago, and LosAngeles “to examine the effects of human capital, family status, and migration history on annual earning for white, Filipina, and Asian Indian women” (269).

The Dependent Variable is total logged wage and salary earning in the 1999 calendar year. The primary human capital variables were education and English language proficiency. Family status was measured by 0-not married 1-married. And number of children living in the house ranged from 0-9. Race/ethnicity was Filipina, Asian Indian, and non-Hispanic white. The researchers controlled for number of hours worked per year, age, occupation, and metropolitan area. Dummy variables included migrations cohorts (post-1990, 1980s, 1970s, pre-1970s).

After examining the earnings of immigrant Filipinas and immigrant Asian Indians women (groups with both higher levels of education than non-Hispanic white women, and who are proficient in English) compared to non-Hispanic white women, it is important to highlight the factors: migrant context and occupational racial/ethnic segregation. As income attainment has to do with social location, Stone, Purkayastha, and Berdahl (2006) found that income attainment is correlated with the reason that women migrated—as workers for labor shortages like nurses, as refugees, as wives—and the occupational context where women may be segregation by race/ethnicity. Migrant cohorts affect attainment, those migrated in the 1990s earn significantly less than natives, while those migrated before the 1980s earn more than natives.

Finding showed that these immigrant women were affected by time of migration, occupational racial-ethnic segregation, and race-ethnicity. Education and English proficiency positively affect income, as well as hours per week and aging. Negatively, for every additional child, income declined (probably because of the gender role of motherhood). There was no significant difference in earnings between Filipinas and white women after controlling for other variables. On the other hand, significant difference in earnings between Asian Indian women and white women remained after controlling for the same variables. Future research should focus on a longitudinal study and examine other Asian immigrant groups as well as Asian groups that are not immigrants.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Filipino, Native Hawaiian, Honduran, Vietnamese, Columbian, Guatemalan, Haitian, Puerto Rican in L.A., Boston, Detroit, Atlanta

Wilson, Frank D. 2003. “Ethnic niching and metropolitan labor markets.” Social Science Research. 32(3): 429-466.

Wilson discusses a study of labor market niching of 100 ethnic groups in 216 metropolitan areas in 1990. The article uses the term niche to refer to the tendency of members of certain ethnic groups to over-representatively specialize in a particular occupation. Wilson’s primary objective for the analysis is to discern in which labor market niches different ethnic groups are more likely to concentrate. Wilson also explores ethnic homogeneity in workplaces and niching. The study also seeks to determine whether patterns can be drawn from those occupational niches of individual ethnic groups across various metropolitan areas.

The study used data derived from the public use microdata sample (PUM) files for 1990, 1% and 5% samples. Ethnic groups were classified into 10 broad categories: Central America and Mexico, South America, Other Hispanic, Caribbean, Sub-Sahara Africa, N. Africa and Mid. East, Asia, North America, Northern and Western Europe, and Eastern and Southern Europe. Occupation categories included were as follows: Executive, Administrator, and Manager; Management-related; Professional; Technical; Sales; Administrative Support; Protective Services; Food Service; Health Services; Cleaning and Building; Personal Services; Farming, Forestry, Fishery; Mechanics and Repairers; Construction Trade; Extractive; Precision Production; Machine Operators, Assemblers; Transportation and Material Moving; and Laborers and Private Household.

The analysis found that most of the Hispanic groups were concentrated in service (food, health, cleaning and building) and blue-collar (machine operators and assemblers, laborers) jobs. More specific findings indicate that persons of Guatemalan, Honduran, Argentinean, Chilean, and Panamanian ethnicity were concentrated in construction trades. Administrative support jobs were over-representatively occupied by Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Hispanics. Persons of Caribbean ancestry were concentrated in health services, administrative support, and laborer occupational sectors. Middle Eastern and Asian groups were concentrated in professional and retail occupations. Vietnamese were over-representatively working in semiskilled blue-collar occupations. American Indians, Hawaiians, and Canadians were clustered in construction trades, and transportation and material moving. European ethnic groups were concentrated in white-collar occupations.

Wilson used Multi-city Study of Urban Inequity (MCSUI) surveys to explore the extent to which persons work in jobs at jobs that are ethnically homogeneous, and any associations between ethnic niches and ethnically homogenous workforces. The surveys were conducted in 1992-1994 in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, and Los Angeles.

Several implications that Wilson derived from this study are that ethnic niching is a “social formation driven by the needs of ethnic groups to acquire material resources beneficial to the well-being of members” and the necessity of maintaining those members’ access to resources; that the structure of labor markets facilitate the matching of individual workers’ skills and experiences with the goods and services labor market positions; and that employers, who seek to maintain productivity goals, may recruit a certain group in order to minimize doubt of the labor supply quality.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Latinos/Occupational segregation

Zavella, Patricia. 2000. “Latinos in the USA: changing socio-economic patterns”. Social & Cultural Geography. 1:155-167.

Zavella (2000) aims to describe how Latinos and Latinas experience poverty and socio-economic inequality because of historic and geographical experiences, despite the traditional focus on the black-white paradigm. Zavella does not herself do any data collection or analysis, but does a critique on past literature and on how scholars need to move beyond the white-black racialized experience as a means to understand how occupational segregation is generationally maintained for Latinos. Describing who Latinos are is difficult because the category can include people from Guatemala, El Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, etc. (156).

The main issue is how the cycle of low-wage jobs or “brown-collar jobs” precludes Latinos from moving out of bad hours, bad work conditions, bad pay—even US laws of equal employment do not make Latinos economically mobile (158). Once Latinos are in the low-wage jobs, they become segregated into “racial-ethnic enclaves”, where Spanish is spoken, they only meet other Latinos and social networks are never formed, which are necessary for mobility. Zavella’s connected between occupational segregation and Latinos even contrasts the expected mobility of future generations because the racial-ethnic enclaves. While Blacks have similar experiences as Latinos, Zavella explains that the focus should not remain on Blacks, but also on how Latinos experience structural forces that create poverty. For example, on a geographic note, the deindustrialization, white flight, and residential segregation in Midwest and East Coast cities also affect Latino groups.

Future research:

1-I would suggest studying each Latino group on an individual basis with actual data collection or census data, because to combine Latino groups and say they experience segregation and jobs in the same way is probably a mistake.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

White/Black/Latino insider referrals and ethnically homogeneous jobs in Atlanta, Boston, and LA

Elliott, James R. 2001. “Referral Hiring and Ethnically Homogeneous Jobs: How Prevalent is the Connection and for Whom?” Social Science Research. 30:401-425.

Elliot (2001) questions a fundamental understanding of why certain jobs are ethnically homogeneously concentrated. Premised with three hypotheses, Elliot posits that 1- insider job referrals play a critical role in contemporary job matching, at least in Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles, 2- insider referrals vary in degree depending on immigrant status, at least when looking at the general groups of Whites, Blacks and Latinos (he does not specify the groups of Whites, Blacks and Latinos in the article), and 3- those who acquire a job through insider referrals will end up in a ethnically homogeneous job.

The Data for the study came primarily from the Multi-City Survey of Urban Inequality (MCSUI), which is a random sample from the cities Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, and Los Angeles between 1992-1994. However, Detroit was excluded because job-matching questions were not asked.

In sum, Elliot found that 1/3 of new hires from 1992-1994 in Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles were a product of insider referrals. However, while immigrant status matters, ethnicity was the important factor when looking at the difference between native born and foreign-born. That is, in terms of ethnically homogeneous jobs entered, referrals did not significantly matter for Latinos or Whites—both entered ethnically homogeneous jobs regardless of insider referrals. Conversely, insider referrals were significant for native-born Blacks to enter ethnically homogeneous jobs, whereas, non-referrals (like answering ads, job agencies, etc.) led native-born Blacks to enter non-ethnically homogeneous jobs.

Although not written in the MCSUI, Elliot speculates that Latinos end up in ethnically homogeneous jobs regardless of insider referrals because of their language barriers. That is to say, because English is not the Latinos’ first language, job placement is relative to the ethnically homogeneous language necessities of the Latino groups.

Future Research needed:

1. Elliot writes mostly about native-born Blacks using formal means to find jobs, and minimal use of informal means. More research needs to be done on non-native-born Blacks, such as Nigerians, Ethiopians, Eritreans, etc. Perhaps this would only pertain to the bay area, but for example, if you walk into most any Fry’s Electronics, it is like management has an African exchange program going on. If you ask where the majority of the workers are from, they are, first of all, from foreign countries, and, second of all, most likely from Eastern African countries. Is it insider referrals that concentrate this type of occupation, or some other reasons?

2. While Elliot speculates that Latinos are ethnically concentrated regardless of insider referrals because of language, I would speculate this is also because a huge Latino population is undocumented—just at one place I worked, there were Brazilians, Argentineans, Nicaraguans, Mexicans, and El Salvadorians all working under false social security cards. Perhaps ethnically concentrated jobs are also caused because the employers can get away with paying lower wages to those who them know are undocumented.

3. Finally, future research could be done on the difference between insider referrals patterns for men and women in low-income jobs.