From Chinatown to Every Town: New Patterns of Employment and Settlement for Recent Chinese Immigrants in the United States

Zai Liang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Jiejin Li, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

Building on the growing literature on new immigrant destinations, this paper examines new settlement patterns of low skilled Chinese immigrants in the United States. We identify an important channel of settlement in new destinations for the case of Chinese low skilled immigrants: employment agencies in New York City’s Chinatown. We carried out a survey of employment agencies. Our findings suggest that there has been a profound change in settlement patterns of low skilled immigrants: moving away from traditional Chinatowns in major American cities toward non-gateway destinations and rural areas. These new settlement locations are characterized by low unemployment rate, low crime rate but with a variety of racial compositions. We discuss the implications of this fundamental change for immigrant socioeconomic mobility in the American society.

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Presented in Session 130: New Directions in International Migration Research