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.
The good news: Americans are much more likely to have higher incomes than their parents. But just how much more depends greatly on their race, education and their parents' income level, according to new Pew Economic Mobility Project data.
Some 83% exceed their parents' income by at least $1,000.
Those born rich are more likely to greatly out earn their parents. For instance, 27% of those raised in the highest-income families made MORETami Luhby - Feb 26, 2013 5:01 PM ET
Median weekly earnings in the U.S. for wage and salary workers were $775 at the end of 2012.
But just how much you make depends on a number of factors, including your race and gender,
CNNMoney gives you a snapshot into what Americans earn:
The more schooling you have, the more you get in your paycheck.
And your profession has a big impact:
It's well-known that women make less than men...but the size of the MORETami Luhby - Jan 23, 2013 9:43 AM ET
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