Labor Market Competition and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment: Occupations as Contexts



This paper explores the impact of labor market competition measured within occupations on attitudes toward immigrants in the U.S. including perceived group threat and policy preferences. Multilevel analyses of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series, O*NET, and the General Social Survey demonstrate that labor market competition accounts for threat perceptions – threat is lower in occupations with greater expected employment growth. Individual-level characteristics also explain differences across occupations. Perceived group threat is higher in some occupations because job incumbents have less education. Occupational differences in threat perceptions account for all occupational differences in policy attitudes.