Male immigrants, including illegals, have a much lower unemployment rate than men born in the United States, according to a new federal analysis of the traits of U.S.- and foreign-born workers.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate for American-born men is 8.4 percent. For the foreign-born it's 7.5 percent, a near 1 percent difference.

The figures could play a role in the Senate immigration debate, especially as critics upset with clearing the way for some 11 million illegal immigrants to get U.S. residency and a legal shot at jobs dig in to fight.

In its report, BLS did not break out the unemployment rate of legal and illegal foreign-born workers. It describes them as "legally-admitted immigrants, refugees, temporary residents such as students and temporary workers, and undocumented immigrants."

Overall, it pegged the "civilian" unemployment rate of all workers 16 and older at 8.1 percent. It said that foreigner workers, legal and illegal, total 25 million and comprise 16.1 percent of the total U.S. workforce. More foreign-born workers are employed in the service industry than American-born workers. Also, foreigners earn less: American-born workers earn an average of $797 a week compared to $625 for foreign-born workers.