The unemployment rate of immigrants fell to 8.1% in 2012, the same as the jobless level for people born in America. This marks the first time in several years that immigrants have not had a higher jobless rate.
As Congress debates immigration reform, the work experiences of those born outside this country grow in importance.
Still, the overall unemployment rate of immigrants masks differences between the races. Foreign-born whites, for instance, have a higher unemployment rate than their native-born counterparts. (The unemployment rates for both white immigrants and white natives are still below the overall average though.) But other immigrant groups are less likely to be unemployed than their peers born in America.
Immigrants, however, are more likely to be employed in lower-paying fields, such as service jobs, construction and maintenance. So their pay is lower than workers who were born here.
The vast majority of immigrant workers are Hispanic, followed by Asians, whites and blacks.
As usual, today's congressional hearing featuring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't disappoint when it comes to tortured metaphors for the U.S. economy.
Here's this gem, courtesy of Senator Dan Coats, a Republican from Indiana:
THE U.S. ECONOMY IS LIKE A HORSE, BUT WHERE THE HECK IS IT?
Chairman Bernanke, sometime earlier you and I had a conversation, and I asked you the question about why the United States was doing relatively better than its MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - May 22, 2013 12:58 PM ET
Americans spend more on their Fidos and Fluffies each year than they spend on booze or men's clothing.
People shelled out an average of $502 annually on their pets in 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That compares to the $456 they spent on alcohol and $404 they spent on men and boys' clothes.
Just pet food alone cost the average household $183 -- which is more than folks spend MORETami Luhby - May 21, 2013 10:44 AM ET
Poverty is growing faster in the suburbs than anywhere else in the United States, soaring 64% over the past decade.
That was more than twice the growth rate of the urban poor population, according to the Brookings Institution, which released a book Monday titled Confronting Suburban Poverty in America. There are now almost 16.4 million suburban residents living below the poverty line, nearly 3 million more than in the cities.
The MORETami Luhby - May 20, 2013 8:00 AM ET
Nearly 12% of student loans are at least 90 days delinquent, according to new federal data. But borrowers in some states are having more trouble paying their loans than their peers elsewhere.
West Virginia has the highest share of delinquent loan balances, at 17.8%, while South Dakota has the lowest, at 6.6%, according to the latest quarterly data from the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
Related: Class of 2013 grads average $35,200 MORETami Luhby - May 17, 2013 8:04 AM ET
Thinking of retiring early? Hope you have a lot socked away for medical expenses.
That's because health care costs can add up quickly when you aren't yet eligible for Medicare, which kicks in at age 65.
Someone who retires today at age 55 will spend an average of $119,600 over the next 10 years on insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, said Dale Yamamoto, who authored a report on medical spending on behalf MORETami Luhby - May 16, 2013 11:05 AM ET
Not only is the cupcake craze truly winding down, it's leading to some Twitter fun among econ nerds this Thursday morning.
When the Labor Department released its latest Consumer Price Index -- a key measure of inflation -- it contained a detailed breakdown that showed cupcake prices are falling.
Follow the hashtag #CupcakeDeflation to get in on the meme, started by Justin Wolfers -- the same economist who brought us the beloved MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - May 16, 2013 10:57 AM ET
You paid less for gasoline in April, and that led overall inflation lower for the second month in a row.
The Consumer Price Index, a key measure of inflation, fell 0.4% in April, according to the Labor Department. Compared to a year earlier, prices are up only 1.1%, a level of inflation that's considered rather low.
Falling gas prices were the main driver for the broader decline for the second month in MOREAnnalyn Kurtz - May 16, 2013 8:40 AM ET
Most Americans plan to cut spending to make up for income lost from the payroll tax hike, according to a New York Federal Reserve study released Wednesday.
The payroll tax cut, which was in effect in 2011 and 2012, reduced the amount withheld from workers' paychecks to 4.2%, down from 6.2%. That put an additional $1,000 a year in the pocket of the average household earning $50,000 a year. The provision MORETami Luhby - May 15, 2013 9:11 AM ET
When Suzanne Eva Lain praised Obamacare in a recent CNNMoney article, she never thought it would earn her a ticket to the White House.
But after a member of the Obama administration read that she can't wait for Obamacare to start, officials invited her to attend an event at the White House on Friday at which the president expounded on how the Affordable Care Act has helped women and their families. MORETami Luhby - May 14, 2013 10:42 AM ET
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