Overview & Job Duties

To qualify for TN status based on work in the profession of economist, the applicant must engage in activities consistent with the profession. This includes conducting research, preparing reports, or formulating plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy. Economists apply both qualitative and quantitative economic analysis to topics within a variety of fields, such as education, health, development, and the environment.  According to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), additional job duties include: researching economic issues; conducting surveys and collecting data; analyzing data using mathematical models, statistical techniques, and software; presenting research results in reports, tables, and charts; interpreting and forecasting market trends; advising businesses, governments, and individuals on economic topics; recommending solutions to economic problems; and writing articles for academic journals and other media.


To qualify for TN status as an economist, an applicant must possess the following:

  • Bachelor’s (Baccalaureate) or Licenciatura degree.

Please note: a qualifying degree must be in the same field or a closely related field. Adjudicating officers are instructed to use “good judgment” in determining whether a degree in an allied field is appropriate.

Common Issues

The profession of economist must not primarily include the activity of other occupations, such as those performed by financial analysts, market research analysts, and marketing specialists. Just for reference, here is how the Department of Labor defines each occupation:

  • A financial analyst conducts quantitative analyses of information involving investment programs or financial data of public or private institutions;
  • A market research analyst and marketing specialist research conditions in local, regional, national, or online markets by gathering information to determine potential sales of a product or service, or plan a marketing or advertising campaign. This may include gathering information on competitors, prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution. This may involve searching marketing tactics, analyzing web metrics, and developing recommendations to increase search engine ranking and visibility to target markets.

An economist conducts research, prepares reports, or formulates plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy. This may involve collecting and processing economic and statistical data using sampling techniques and econometric methods.