Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Gabriela León-Pérez

Second Advisor

Dr Victor Chen

Third Advisor

Dr Paula Rodriguez Miguelez


Despite the vast research concerning immigrants and occupational mobility, little is known if the patterns for high-skilled and low-skilled workers differ. In this project, I analyze the pre-to-post migration occupational mobility of legal permanent residents in the US by using occupation and migration histories from the New Immigrant Survey. I contrast the first occupation in the US to the last occupation abroad using descriptive statistics, hypothesis testing, and multinomial logistic regression models. Findings show different patterns of occupational mobility for low-skilled and high-skilled workers. High-skilled immigrants were less likely to experience downward occupational mobility than their low-skilled counterparts. The high-skilled were also more likely to experience lateral mobility than low-skilled workers. I also found that the effects of region of origin on occupational mobility differed by skill-level, and that education was a significant predictor of mobility only for the high-skilled. In terms of the visa admission category, only employment sponsorship was a significant predictor of mobility. As the patterns of migration of low-skilled and high-skilled differ, so does their occupational mobility giving us a better understanding of the dynamics of the US job market for immigrants.


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