We hear a lot about a supposed economic recovery, so many jobs gained or lost in a month, and how immigrants strengthen the economy. On Wednesday, the Washington Times ran an article entitled, “Immigrants account for all job gains since 2000: native-born workers’ employment has fallen.” That is a succinct summery of a new report by the Center for Immigration Studies, making concrete what many of us have suspected for a long time:
While jobs are always being created and lost, and the number of workers rises and falls with the economy, a new analysis of government data shows that all of the net gain in employment over the last 13 years has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). From the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2013, the number of natives working actually fell by 1.3 million while the overall size of the working-age (16 to 65) native population increased by 16.4 million. Over the same time period, the number of immigrants working (legal and illegal) increased by 5.3 million. In addition to the decline in the number of natives working, there has been a broad decline in the percentage holding a job that began before the 2007 recession. This decline has impacted natives of almost every age, race, gender, and education level. The total number of working-age (16 to 65) natives not working — unemployed or out of the labor force entirely — was nearly 59 million in the first quarter of this year, a figure that has changed little in the last three years and is nearly 18 million larger than in 2000.
Aside from the legalization provisions, one of the main justifications for the large increases in permanent immigration and guest workers in the Schumer-Rubio bill (S.744) is that the nation does not have enough workers. But the data do not support this conclusion. A second argument for the bill is that immigration always creates jobs for natives. But over the last 13 years nearly 16 million new immigrants arrived, 5.4 million since 2008. 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 persistently high rates of joblessness among the native-born.
Legal immigration is as bad as illegal immigration when it comes to jobs for Americans. In fact, considering the types of jobs legal immigration is aimed at stealing, it may actually be worse. The CIS report is short and well worth the read, so I’ll let you do that yourselves, but I did want to quote one more paragraph of note:
Job Americans Don’t Do? Part of the reason immigration is very likely to adversely impact the employment of natives is that, contrary to the assertion of some, the idea that immigrants only do jobs American do not want is mistaken. Of the 472 civilian occupations defined by the Department of Commerce, only six are 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 (legal and illegal) 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. It is simply not the case that there are jobs that Americans do not do.
You see, when most people hear open-borders Liberals, Libertarians, and Conservatives talking about how good immigration is for the economy and how many new jobs will be created, they always assume that at least some of these jobs will be going to Americans. The reality is that all of these new jobs are going to immigrants. As for you? Well, you can just get in the back of the unemployment line.