- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Immigrants account for all job gains since 2000: native-born workers’ employment has fallen
Immigrants — both legal and illegal — have accounted for all of the job gains in the U.S. labor market since 2000, according to a report that highlights the stiff competition for jobs in a tight economy as Congress debates adding more workers to the mix.
The Center for Immigration Studies report, which is being released Wednesday, says 22.4 million immigrants of working age held jobs at the beginning of this year, up 5.3 million over the total in 2000. But native-born workers with jobs dropped 1.3 million over that same period, from 114.8 million to 113.5 million.
Meanwhile, the number of Americans who aren’t in the labor force at all has jumped by almost 13 million to reach 48.6 million — a finding the report’s authors say signals profound changes in the American job market and challenges conventional wisdom that immigration is good for the economy.
“The last 13 years, or even the last five years, make clear that large-scale immigration can go hand-in-hand with weak job growth and declining rates of work among the native-born,” the authors, Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, say in their report. “Given the employment situation in the country, the dramatic increases in legal immigration contemplated by the Gang of Eight immigration bill seem out of touch with the realities of the U.S. labor market.”
Whether immigrants compete for jobs is a heated topic — though the Senate all but ignored it during the chamber’s debate on its bill to legalize most illegal immigrants and create opportunities for new immigrants and temporary workers to enter the U.S.
The outlines of those programs are coming into view. The Congressional Budget Office calculated that boosts in immigration and guest-worker programs would add about 12 million new people to the U.S. in 2023, in addition to millions of illegal immigrants who would gain legal status and work permits.
Overall, CBO said those added workers will help the U.S. economy, though the effect on wages is more complex. At the high-skilled and low-skilled ends there may be some slight wage slippage, CBO found, but wages for those in the middle would go up.
Still, what that means for individual workers is hotly debated outside Congress.
Alex Nowrasteh, immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, said the latest research suggests there isn’t actually much competition for jobs between immigrants and native-born workers, particularly at the low-skilled level, because even there, both groups end up specializing.
He pointed to the example of a restaurant, where poor English might push low-skilled foreign workers toward jobs washing dishes or cleaning up, while native-born workers would specialize in jobs that require communications, such as waiting on tables.
Mr. Camarota defended his numbers, saying they came straight from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey and that he used the same definitions of native-born and foreign-born that the CPS uses.
In 2006 and 2007, the previous two times the Senate debated a broad immigration bill, the competition between native-born and immigrants was a major focus — and helped sink the 2007 effort when Democrats pushed an amendment cutting the guest-worker program in half.
Mr. Nowrasteh said this time around, that debate was transferred to closed-door negotiations — chiefly a deal between the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on how to construct the future immigration and guest-worker parts of the bill.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- House defeats Democrats' attempt to rebuke Issa
- Obama declares himself 'champion in chief' for immigration
- Senate blocks Obama's civil rights nominee
- House GOP considers contempt of Congress charge for Lerner
- DEA: Drug cartels look to capitalize on legal marijuana laws
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- R-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means for Obama
- Otter attacks, kills alligator at Florida wildlife refuge
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- Russian lawmaker wants to outlaw U.S. dollar, calls it a Ponzi scheme
- Senate rejects Gillibrand's overhaul of military's handling of sexual assaults
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again