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.