By Dwight L. Schwab, Jr.
It was reported Monday that twice the number of immigrants are arriving in the United States since the year 2000. That is accounting for both those that come legally and the illegal entries. The main problem with the equation is that the number of immigrants is twice new job creation.
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reports, based on Census Bureau date, discloses that 18 million immigrants have arrived in the U.S. since 2000. Only 9.8 million jobs were added over those 15 years.
The statistics do not sit well with the reality of President Obama’s executive order to provide amnesty for approximately five million illegal immigrants in the country already. The CIS released the report as Congress is considering legislation to boost legal immigration to deal with what some allege are labor shortages. The statistics could create a real problem.
Steven Camarota, co-author of the report and the director of research at the CIS said, “It is a mistake to think every job taken by an immigrant is a job lost by a native, but it is equally wrong to think that adding this huge number of immigrants has no implications for American workers.” Nevertheless, the CIS reported that 89 percent of those 18 million immigrants are potential workers who are at least 16 years old. The job problem will get nothing but worse.
To add to the frustration, the native born population of working age adults grew by 16.5 million since 2000. Yet long term job growth doesn’t come remotely close to matching the increases in immigrants and native-born workers.
The labor force participation rate of native born Americans aged 16 to 65 has been in decline. The rate was 77 percent in December 2000 and 72 percent in December 2014.
The CIS report says, “The key question for policymakers is whether it makes sense to allow in this number of legal immigrants and tolerate this level of illegal immigration when long term job growth has not come close to matching these numbers. Unfortunately, policymakers have given little thought to the absorption capacity of the U.S. labor market when formulating immigration policy.”