CIS Report: All Net Employment Growth Went To Immigrants, Not Native-Born Americans

Monica Sanchez | December 19, 2014
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According to a new Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) report released today, immigrants—legal and illegal—reaped the benefits from recent job growth more so than native-born men and women in the labor force.

Publicly available data on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website gives warrant to the report’s findings.

The BLS reports that, as of last month, there are 1.5 million fewer native-born Americans working than back in Nov. 2007, in contrast with the number of working immigrants which has increased by two million to-date.

"It is truly remarkable that since the 2007 recession, what net employment gains there have been went entirely to immigrants, while the number of native-born Americans working remains well below 2007 levels," said Steven Camarota, CIS Director of Research.

"This raises the question of whether it makes sense to continue to admit so many legal immigrants as well as to allow most illegal immigrants to stay."

In addition, workers’ wages—across the board but especially in lower-wage industries—continue to decline.

According to Harvard labor economist Dr. George Borjas, reduced wages can be attributed in part to the constant influx of largely lower-wage, lower-skilled foreign-born workers into the U.S.  

“Illegal immigrants have clearly benefited by living and working in the United States,” Borjas writes. “Many business owners and users of immigrant labor have also benefited by having access to their labor.

“But some native-born Americans have also lost, and these losers likely include a disproportionate number of the poorest Americans.”

As reported by the Pew Research Center, the total number of immigrants in the United States has eclipsed a record 40 million. With that in mind, a recent GOP poll shows 57-percent of voters concerned about immigration, ranking the issue as either their number one concern or one of their top three.

Congressmen such as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) have advocated against President Obama’s executive amnesty, a move that would effectively allow another 5 million illegal immigrants into the legal workforce with work permits.

"By unilaterally granting amnesty to nearly five million people, the President is inviting even more illegal immigration, which hurts working men and women who have entered the country legally and further strains state governments," Sen. Cruz said at an amicus brief this week in support of a lawsuit brought by the State of Texas and 20 other states against the executive order. 

"The White House has itself estimated that are three unemployed persons for each one job opening," Sessions told the Senate Friday evening. "The Economic Policy Institute estimates that, in the construction industry, there are 7 unemployed persons for each available job opening.

"This large-scale immigration flow, paired with the forces of globalization and automation, has made it ever more difficult American workers to earn a wage that can support a family." 

They and others whom share the same sentiments dare to ask, Who's looking out for American workers?