CIS Study: All Growth In Employment Since 2000 Has Gone to Immigrants

The Center for Immigration Studies released a bombshell report today. You can read the whole thing at the link, but here are a few highlights:

Government data show that since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). This is remarkable given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.

Currently, an astonishing 58 million working-age native Americans are not working.

Because the native-born population grew significantly, but the number working actually fell, there were 17 million more working-age natives not working in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000.

The authors point out that the decline in employment for natives across all ages and education levels means that “there is no general labor shortage, which is the primary justification for the large increases in immigration (skilled and unskilled) in the Schumer-Rubio bill and similar House proposals.

The number of Americans who are not working, including legal and illegal immigrants, is stunning:

There were a total of 69 million working-age immigrants and natives not working in the first quarter of 2014. There were an additional 7.3 million forced to work part-time despite wanting full-time work.

The supply of potential workers is enormous: 8.7 million native college graduates are not working, as are 17 million with some college, and 25.3 million with no more than a high school education.

Why anyone would advocate massive increases in immigration in view of these numbers is baffling. The influx of immigrants (legal and illegal) over the last fifteen years has hurt young Americans worst of all:

[O]ne of the key things that happened to natives is that young people, particularly the less educated, have not found jobs over the last 14 years. The population of natives 16 to 29 grew 16.2 percent from 2000 to 2014, but the number working actually declined by 2.6 percent. These new entrants to the labor market are not finding jobs and so the number and share not working has exploded. … [P]roportionately it is younger native workers who have fared much worse over the last 14 years.

Why aren’t these young Americans “dreamers?” Why should they be condemned to lives of unemployment and underemployment?

One more point: the authors debunk the “jobs Americans won’t do” myth:

As we have seen in Table 2, immigrants made gains across the labor market. Looking at broad occupations as shown in that table makes clear that there are tens of millions of natives employed in the occupational cat- egories where immigrants have found jobs in the last 14 years. Thus, part of the reason immigration is likely to adversely impact the employment of some natives is that, contrary to the assertion of some, immigrants often do the same jobs. In an earlier report we examined all 472 civilian detailed occupations as defined by the Department of Commerce. We found only six were majority immigrant (legal and illegal). These six occupations account for 1 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Many jobs often thought to be overwhelmingly immigrant are in fact majority native-born. For example, 51 percent of maids and housekeepers are U.S.-born, as are 63 percent of butchers and meat processors. It is also the case that 64 percent of grounds maintenance workers are U.S.-born, as are 66 percent of construction laborers and 73 percent of janitors.23 It is simply not the case that there are jobs that Americans do not do.

Thankfully, immigration “reform” seems dead for the time being, especially with Eric Cantor’s defeat.

Recommend this Power Line article to your Facebook friends.

Responses