US Immigration & Employment Trends 2009

Whether you are searching for job and want to be sponsored on an H1B visa, E3 visa, L1 visa, TN visa, J1 visa, H2B visa, F1 Visa OPT, Green Card or indeed any other US Visa, it is important to be wary of current migration and employment trends within the United States to know where to best find a job.

Of course many people on the US visas we mention above have been laid off in 2009 and have since found subsequent employment. And others, despite the gloomy economic climate, have continued to search for employment and sponsorship from within the US and from afar.

Now as 2009 is drawing to a close we can look at some of the recent patterns and movements of people (both US citizens and immigrants) to different parts of the country in search of better opportunities. As we write this today, the most recent US unemployment rate is hovering just above the 10% mark, which is at a level not seen for close to 30 years. On top of that what many believe the true unemployment rate to be given many people have been forced to settle for part-time work or have given up look entirely, is closer to the 17% mark.

Now a recent New York Times interactive unemployment chart we highlighted shows that this unemployment is not distributed equally and that if you are college or even higher educated and in certain age brackets, the rates for your demographic is far lower. Given the typical immigrant to the US is highly educated and under 40, the employment prospects are far brighter.

What we haven’t illustrated before is the geographical changes as a result of this nearly 2 year long recession we have experienced in the US. In 2009 for example;

  • Texas (already the 2nd largest state in the US) received the greatest population growth in 2009, adding 478,000 new people
  • Texas’ population is now 24.8 million and has continued a trend for most of this decade leading the US in population growth
  • About half of the 2008-09 population growth in Texas was due to migrants both US based from other states and foreigners from overseas or previously residing in other US states
  • Texas only went into recession itself in mid 2008 a full 6 months after the US as a whole did in December 2007
  • Texas’ unemployment rate remained at least one full point below the US during most of this recession and currently is at around 8% which is 2 points below the national rate
  • In Texas in October and November there was a net gain of 70,000 positions compared to a National drop of 122,000 in this same period
  • Finance, Health and Education were the main drivers of this employment growth for Texas
  • Overall in 2008, while the US lost over 3 million jobs, Texas gained around 61,000 positions
  • Elsewhere California (381,000), North Carolina (134,000), Georgia (131,000) and Florida (118,000) had population gains in 2009
  • California remained the most populous state with 37 million and the US as a whole grew to 307 million people (annual increase of 0.86%)
  • Popular destinations for immigrants like New York and other North East locations have higher or equivalent unemployment rates than the National Average

So as you can see there have been a lot of interesting changes in the US throughout the course of 2009 and we hope this type of information will help guide your decision about where you might like to work, live and study in the US

CJ

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