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Microsoft Word crm-ptmt el Salvador 2009[final]. doc

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Workshop on Temporary Migrant Workers Programs

 

 

34

workers, especially as household workers (42.2%), and labor participation of Nicaraguan women in 

Costa Rica is higher than labor participation of female Costa Rican citizens (Morales, 2008). 

 

Insertion in the United States 

A significant presence of migrant workers from Mexico, Central America, South America, 

and the Caribbean exists in the United States, with different levels of labor insertion, the latter 

showing the highest productive integration rates (CEPAL, 2008).  

In the case of women, the situation is stable. In fact, Caribbean and South American women 

currently show the highest percentages of economically active populations (56% and 55%, 

respectively). However, these percentages are still below the participation percentages for US 

nationals (see Graph 3). “It is interesting to note that this participation is higher in the US than in 

countries of origin, which reinforces the concept that female migration to the United States is caused 

by the search for work within a context of greater employment flexibility” (CEPAL, 2008:133). 

Female immigrants have access to greater possibilities of labor insertion in the United States than in 

their countries of origin, and it is obvious that many women do not only migrate to join their partners 

but also, as a personal initiative (Martínez, 2002). 

 

GRAPH 3 

UNITED STATES: PERCENTAGES OF ECONOMICALLY ACTIVE WOMEN IN 

POPULATIONS 16 YEARS AND OLDER, BY REGION OF BIRTH, 1990, 2000 AND 2004 

0

10

20

30

40

50

60

70

Latin America

Caribbean

Central

America

Mexico

South America United States

1990

2000

CPS2004

 

Source: 1990 and 2000 National Population Censuses, 2004 Current Population Survey. 

Notes: For the 1990 Census, Central America does not include Belize and South America does not include Brazil; for 

the 2000 Census, South America does not include Paraguay and Uruguay. Data from the 2004 Current Population 

Survey include Mexicans in the Central America group. 

 

Regarding the activity sectors where migrant workers insert, some differences have been 

observed according to sub-region of origin of migrants (Table 3). South Americans and Caribbean 

nationals are concentrated in the commerce and transportation sectors, as well as education, health, 

and social services; Central Americans prefer to work in construction, manufacture, and commerce; 

similarly, Mexicans typically engage in construction activities (19.8%), manufacture, and arts, 

entertainment, and other sectors. Compared to US nationals, two aspects should be highlighted. First, 

the proportion of Mexicans working in agriculture (6.7%) is more than three times higher than the 

proportion of nationals employed in this sector (1.8%) and is twice as high as the total number of 

foreign nationals (2.6%). Second, immigrants from South America and the Caribbean show a 

distribution by sector that is very similar to the distribution of US nationals. 



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