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‘Politically explosive’ study suggests immigrants taking jobs from Americans

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A new Pew study is being widely touted as demonstrating that as the nation struggles to recover economically, immigrants are gaining jobs at the expense of native-born workers. According to the Immigration Policy Center (IPC), however, the Pew report “omits important details” and creates a false impression.

“In the year since the official end of recession in the United States, immigrants have seen job growth but native-born workers have continued to lose jobs,” the Christian Science Monitor reported on Friday. “That’s the politically explosive conclusion of an analysis released Friday by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan research group funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts.”

“In the year following the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, foreign-born workers posted a net gain of 656,000 jobs, while native-born workers lost 1.2 million,” the story explains. “The foreign-born category includes legal and illegal immigrants. As a result of immigrants’ recent job gains, the unemployment rate for immigrant workers fell during this period from 9.3 percent to 8.7 percent, while for native-born workers it rose from 9.2 percent to 9.7 percent.”

“Are immigrants (including many in the country illegally) reducing employment opportunities for native-born Americans?” the Monitor asks. “And are immigrants pushing down wage levels?”

The IPC acknowledges these statistics but rejects the study’s interpretation, noting, “Some observers will undoubtedly conclude from this that the jobs which went to foreign-born workers would have otherwise gone to native-born workers if not for the presence of immigrants in the labor market. However, this is not the case. In reality, immigrant and native-born workers are not interchangeable, nor do they compete with each other for some fixed number of jobs in the U.S. economy. Moreover, many immigrants are highly skilled professionals who create jobs through their inventiveness and entrepreneurship.”

The IPC also points out that “62.5% of foreign-born workers lived in six states as of 2009: California, New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, and Illinois” and concludes that those workers are unlikely to be the cause of elevated unemployment rates in the rest of the nation. And it concludes by emphasizing that “most foreign-born workers complement, rather than compete with, most native-born workers.”

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The more sensationalistic interpretation of Pew’s statistics, however, appear likely to gain traction. The Wall Street Journal, for example, began its own story with a quote from the “head of an immigrant employment center near Washington, D.C” who told them, “The recovery is working for our community. It’s unbelievable how many jobs are becoming available.”

“Immigrant presence in the U.S. labor force has been increasing for several decades,” the Journal asserts, “with foreign-born workers now representing 16% of the U.S. labor force, up from 10% in 1995. … Immigrants also tend to be more flexible about their wage expectations and more mobile than native-born workers.”

According to another survey issued this week by the Pew Hispanic Center, 61% of Hispanics now say that discrimination is a major problem for them, compared with 54% three years ago, and a plurality blames this increase on the backlash against illegal immigration.
“The poll also found that 70 percent of foreign-born Latinos think they are being held back by discrimination,” the Washington Post adds, “and half of all Latinos think the United States has become less welcoming toward immigrants than it was just five years ago. … More than half of all Latinos told Pew pollsters they are worried that family members, close friends or they themselves could be deported.”

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Republican Attorney General sued by four women for retaliating against their sexual harassment complaints: report

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On Tuesday, Indiana's GOP attorney general, Curtis Hill, was sued in federal court by four women, who accuse him of defaming them and engaging in retaliation after they reported episodes of his sexual harassment.

Democratic state Rep. Mara Reardon, communications director Gabrielle McLemore, and legislative assistants Niki DaSilva and Samantha Lozano, are pursuing both compensatory and punitive damages for sexual harassment, retaliation, sexual battery and defamation, and want the judge to order Hill to apologize and retract his claims that the women are liars.

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Ecuador denies Galapagos Islands will host US military base

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Ecuador President Lenin Moreno insisted Tuesday the United States would not be installing a military base on the Galapagos Islands, a day after the government revealed that American aircraft would be able to use an airstrip there.

"There are not, nor will there be, foreign military bases in the country," Moreno wrote on Twitter, expressing his commitment to preserving the Galapagos Islands.

Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin caused a stir on Monday when he revealed that an air surveillance agreement signed with Washington would allow US planes to refuel or temporarily be stationed at the San Cristobal airport.

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Trump once again suggests the Central Park Five are guilty: ‘You have people on both sides of that’

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During a brief Q&A with the press on Tuesday, President Donald Trump once again appeared to suggest that he still believes the Central Park Five are guilty.

"You have people on both sides of that," he told reporters. "They admitted their guilt."

Trump has repeatedly tried to worm his way out of condemning racism with this sort of language — most infamously when he said there were "very fine people on both sides" of a neo-Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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