Updated research from the Migration Policy Institute found that an estimated 1.2 million college-educated immigrants in the United States were underemployed, while another 350,000 were unemployed.
MPI based its research on the 2009 American Community Survey conducted by the Census Bureau. According to the survey, there are 6.7 million college-educated immigrants living in the United States.
There are several factors offered for the results. College-educated immigrants often face language barriers or different credentialing requirements when seeking work in the United States. Other factors include lack of access to job networks and immigration status since the data does not distinguish between immigrants in the country legally or illegally.
Researchers have called the situation "Brain Waste" referring to immigrants who were skilled professionals in their home countries but haven't been able to find work that meets their qualifications in the U.S.
According to Jeanne Batalova, who leads the research on the topic for MPI, it means less money for the immigrants compared with their potential earning power, and for the United States, it means a missed opportunity in utilizing the skills of trained professionals.
Updated: Tue, Mar 29th 2011 @ 2:35pm EDT