In the context of continuing influxes of large numbers of immigrants to the United States, the urban labor market segmentation along the lines of race/ethnicity, gender, and class has drawn considerable growing attention. Using a confidential dataset extracted from the United States Decennial Long Form Data 2000 and a multilevel regression modeling strategy, this paper presents a case study of Chinese immigrants in the San Francisco metropolitan area.
A correspondent with the highly segregated nature of the labor market as between Chinese immigrant men and women, different socioeconomic characteristics at the census tract level are significantly related to their occupational segregation. This suggests the social process of labor market segmentation is contingent on the immigrant geography of residence and workplace. With different direction and magnitude of the spatial contingency between men and women in the labor market, residency in Chinese immigrant concentrated areas is perpetuating the gender occupational segregation by skill level. Whereas abundant ethnic resources may exist in ethnic neighborhoods and enclaves for certain types of employment opportunities, these resources do not necessarily help Chinese immigrant workers, especially women, to move upward along the labor market hierarchy.