While research on immigrant women’s U.S. labor market incorporation has increased in recent years, systematic comparisons of employment trajectories across national origin groups remain rare. Using census data from 1990 to 2016, we propose a typology of employment trajectories based on synthetic cohorts of foreign-born women by national origin. Results indicate that most women eventually join the workforce, though with significant variation in starting levels and growth rates. Although gradual incorporation was the most common pattern, cohorts from Mexico, Central America, and South America exhibited a delayed pattern of incorporation, while women from India, Korea and other Asian countries followed an accelerated incorporation trajectory, though from very low starting rates. Filipinas and Caribbeans showed a constant intensive employment. We found that cohorts’ gender-specific characteristics upon arrival explained a substantial share of the variation in incorporation patterns, more so than the human capital and family characteristics emphasized in prior research.
Presented in Session 168. Immigrant Integration and Incorporation