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Study: Latino immigrants shielded U.S. workers from job cuts

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Latino immigrantsLow-skilled Mexican-born U.S. workers shielded low-skilled U.S.-born workers from job losses during the Great Recession by returning to Mexico, a study found.

The lesser-skilled immigrant workers were much more ready to move for jobs elsewhere when the economy soured than comparably skilled U.S.-born workers, the study by the non-profit National Bureau of Economic Research indicated.

"Natives living in cities with many similarly skilled Mexicans were thus insulated from local shocks, as the departure of Mexican workers absorbed part of the demand decline," wrote study authors Brian C. Cadena of the University of Colorado-Boulder and Brian K. Kovak of Carnegie Mellon University.

"Therefore, Mexican mobility serves to equalize labor-market outcomes across the country and partially obviates the need for natives to move," the economist authors said in the paper, which can be found at


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