All U.S. Employment Growth Since 2000 Went to Immigrants—–The Number of U.S.-born not working grew by 17 million
What about Canada?
The information in this bulletin comes from the well-respected Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C. The data is shocking. Similar data for Canada is not compiled by Statistics Canada and would probably be equally shocking.
U.S. 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. Though there has been some recovery from the Great Recession, there were still fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level.
All of the net increase in employment went to immigrants in the last 14 years partly because, even before the Great Recession, immigrants were gaining a disproportionate share of jobs relative to their share of population growth. In addition, natives’ losses were somewhat greater during the recession and immigrants have recovered more quickly from it. With 58 million working-age natives not working, the Schumer-Rubio bill (S.744) and similar House measures that would substantially increase the number of foreign workers allowed in the country seem out of touch with the realities of the U.S. labor market.
Three conclusions can be drawn from this analysis:
First, the long-term decline in the employment for natives across age and education levels is a clear indication that there is no general labor shortage, which is a primary justification for the large increases in immigration (skilled and unskilled) in the Schumer-Rubio bill and similar House proposals.
Second, the decline in work among the native-born over the last 14 years of high immigration is consistent with research showing that immigration reduces employment for natives.
Third, the trends since 2000 challenge the argument that immigration on balance increases job opportunities for natives. Over 17 million immigrants arrived in the country in the last 14 years, yet native employment has deteriorated significantly.
Among the findings:
The total number of working-age (16 to 65) immigrants (legal and illegal) holding a job increased 5.7 million from the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2014, while declining 127,000 for natives.
In the first quarter of 2000, there were 114.8 million working-age natives holding a job; in the first quarter of 2014 it was 114.7 million.
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.
Immigrants have made gains across the labor market, including lower-skilled jobs such as maintenance, construction, and food service; middle-skilled jobs like office support and health care support; and higher-skilled jobs, including management, computers, and health care practitioners.
The long-term decline in the share of working-age natives holding a job began before the 2007 recession, falling from 74 percent in 2000 to 71 percent in 2007. It is now an abysmal 66 percent, improving only slightly since the bottom of the recession.
The share of natives working or looking for work, referred to as labor force participation, shows the same decline as the employment rate. In fact, labor force participation has continued to decline for working-age natives even after the jobs recovery began in 2010.
Immigration has fallen in recent years. But despite the economy, between 2008 and the start of 2014, 6.5 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) settled in the country and three million got jobs. Over the same time, the number of working-age natives holding a job declined 3.4 million.
In contrast to natives, the employment rate of working-age immigrants increased from 2000 to 2007 and has recovered more quickly from the Great Recession than natives, though it has not fully recovered.
Since the jobs recovery began in 2010, 43 percent of employment growth has gone to immigrants.
If the employment rate of working-age natives in the first quarter of this year were what it was in 2007, 7.9 million more natives would have a job. If the share working were what it was in the first quarter of 2000, 12.5 million more natives would have a job today.
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.
For details, see https://cis.org/All-Employment-Growth-2000-Went-Immigrants