Where Did the Jobs Go?

Somewhat remarkably, given that it has presided over the worst recovery–by far–of the post-war era, the Obama administration tries to slice and dice employment numbers to portray itself as a champion of job creation. There are, indeed, a few more jobs today than there were six years ago. Yet for most Americans, the employment scene has gotten worse, not better. Why is that?

Senate Budget Committee staff offer data in explanation:

According to BLS data, in November of 2007 there were 23.1 million foreign workers in the United States with jobs. Today, the BLS reports, there are 25.1 million foreign workers in the United States with jobs – meaning 2 million jobs, on net, have gone to foreign workers since the recession. By contrast, BLS reports there were 124 million American-born workers with jobs in November of 2007 but only 122.5 million American-born workers with jobs today – a decline of 1.5 million for American workers.

Think about this: despite American workers accounting for 70 percent of all population growth among adults, they received, on net, none of the post-recession jobs gains. As a result, there are 11 million more American workers outside the labor force today than 7 years ago. So, despite the trillions spent, the enormous interventions, the years spent trying to climb out of the economic doldrums, the total number of American workers who are employed today is 1.5 million less than at this time in 2007. All employment growth during this time went to foreign labor imported from abroad at less cost.

This is not an inexplicable phenomenon but the plain result of Washington policy: each year the U.S. admits 1 million permanent immigrants (overwhelmingly low-wage) in addition to 700,000 foreign guest workers, 500,000 foreign students, and 70,000 refugees and asylees. The number of foreign-born has quadrupled since 1970. During that same time, the NYT reports: “More than 16 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 are not working, up from 5 percent in the late 1960s; 30 percent of women in this age group are not working, up from 25 percent in the late 1990s. For those who are working, wage growth has been weak, while corporate profits have surged.”

Here are the BLS data. You can check the numbers for yourself; click to enlarge:

BLS data


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