Wall Street was buoyed by the June 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Payroll Survey indicating that 195,000 jobs had been created. The primary unemployment measure (U-3), however remained stuck at 7.6 percent, since some of the huge backlog of employment market dropouts reentered the market. Moreover, nearly half the employment gain was needed to absorb the 90,000 legal immigrants arriving in the U.S. every month.
The larger and more detailed BLS Household Survey for June showed a 160,000 job gain. Edwin Rubenstein, President of ESR Economic Consultants, breaks the statistic down to native-born employment and foreign-born employment, revealing that foreign-born employment rose by 244,000 but native-born employment fell 84,000. Since January 2009, the beginning of the Obama Administration, foreign-born employment has risen by 1,895,000, while native-born American employment has fallen by 58,000. These figures indicate consistent displacement of native-born American workers by both legal and illegal foreign-born workers. Since most of this displacement replaces American workers with lower paid legal and illegal immigrants, Wall Street’s early July optimism about an improving economy may prove unwarranted.
The Center for Immigration Studies has also just released a study revealing immigrant gains and native-born losses from first quarter 2000 to first quarter 2013. The number of legal and illegal immigrant workers increased by 5.3 million, while native-born workers actually declined by 1.3 million. This was despite the fact that the native-born potential workforce (those aged 16 to 65) increased by 16.4 million or 65 percent of the total potential workforce increase of 25.2 million (including legal and illegal immigrants). The fingerprint of corrupt immigration policies resulting in massive cheap foreign labor displacement of American workers is very strong here.
During this time, the overall labor participation rate, the percentage of the potential workforce actually working, dropped from 73.2 percent to 66.1 percent, with native-born worker participation dropping from 73.7 percent to 65.9 percent. The foreign-born participation rate drooped from 69.8 percent to 67.4 percent, a 1.6 percent favorable variance for immigrants against the native-born.
The non-participants of the potential workforce aged 16 to 65 are classified as either unemployed or “not in the workforce.” Those not in the workforce include students, retirees, stay-at-home parents, and many other categories, but also those who want to work but have become too discouraged to continue looking for work. Since the BLS standard U-3 report, currently showing unemployment at 7.6 percent, does not show long-term discouraged workers, changes in those classified as “not in the workforce” as well as the officially unemployed are indicative of the health of the U.S. labor market. Looking at the raw numbers reveals some staggering weaknesses and decidedly unhealthy trends in the U.S. employment market that are seldom reported by the media or politicians.
The number of those aged 16 to 65 who are either unemployed or “not in the workforce” increased by 44 percent or 21.2 million persons from 2000 to 2013. This 21.2 million happens to be very near the current number of 21 million Americans who are looking for a full-time job but cannot find one. The lion’s share of this disappearance from the workforce has fallen on native-born Americans with a 17.7 million drop in expected job participation. Employment has only increased by 4.0 million from 131.9 to 135.9 million or 3.0 percent in 13 years.
These tragic statistics for American workers reflect four principal realties during the last two presidential administrations. First, U.S. immigration law enforcement at the borders has been half-hearted. Second, workplace enforcement has been outrageously negligent. Third, legal immigration numbers have been far in excess of reasonable, anywhere from three to five times the annual rate of about 300,000 before the 1986 amnesty, and two to three times the 550,000 annual maximum recommended in the 1996 Jordan Commission’s six-year study of U.S. immigration problems. These first three realities undoubtedly reflect the $300 million annual expenditure of cheap foreign labor lobbyists to influence Congress, both political parties, and political consultants for both parties on the benefits of lax immigration enforcement, and globalist open-door immigration policies. A recent study by George Borjas indicated that besides benefiting illegal immigrants, U.S. business import of cheap foreign labor results in an annual transfer for over $400 billion from American workers to the pockets of business and individuals who use cheap foreign labor. Fourth, the U.S. has become a welfare state, and as welfare becomes more generous, less scrutinized, and almost impossible to stop or reduce, having a job is not as important as it once was.
The May 2013 study by the Heritage Foundation on the costs of amnesty revealed how burdensome our welfare state has become. First of all, the average illegal immigrant household uses $14,387 more in annual government benefits and services than taxes paid. Making them legal will eventually run that cost versus tax deficit to over $28,000 per year to virtually guarantee the demise of the whole Social Security and Medicare system. Even lawful immigrant households use $4,344 more benefits and services per year than taxes paid. So burdensome has our welfare state become that even non-immigrant households come $310 per year short of paying their way. Only the 31 percent with a college degree pay their way, but cannot pay enough to cover everybody. All U.S. households still come short $1,158 annually per household of paying enough taxes to pay for their benefits and services.
Yet the Schumer-Rubio Senate immigration bill that has now gone to the U.S. House for debate not only offers amnesty to 11.5 million unlawful immigrants we cannot afford to keep or legalize but also authorizes 33 to 34 million more legal immigrant workers to come to the U.S. over the next decade. Guest-worker authorizations will more than double the present 800,000. Amnesty plus failure to enforce immigration laws at the borders and the workplace would likely attract another 23 to 34 million illegal immigrants.
Pity the American workers and families that this would ruin. But throw the political scoundrels and airheads orchestrating this ruin out at their next primary election.