By Joe Guzzardi
June 6, 2016
All those jobs the presidential candidates promise to deliver as soon as they’re elected can’t come fast enough for the nearly 95 million Americans detached from the labor market.
The abysmal May Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed only 38,000 jobs created and, as has become the pattern over recent months, many of them in government or in part-time, low-paying sectors with few in solid, blue-collar manufacturing positions. Without May’s 25,000 taxpayer-funded government jobs, job creation would have been reduced by a third to 13,000.
May’s gain was well below the 165,000 consensus predictions, and much lower than March and April, whose figures were revised sharply downward. In total, there were 59,000 fewer new jobs in the last two months than previously announced. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellin has said that 100,000 jobs are needed to absorb new entrants into the labor market so May’s 38,000 falls well short of working-age population increases.
The BLS report had some hidden gems that should have made bigger headlines than they did. Last month, despite exhaustive Silicon Valley lobbying for more H-1B visas, IT employers shed 96,000 jobs, proof that the worker shortage the industry has alleged for years is non-existent. Nevertheless, during the Obama administration, millions of foreign-born workers have been added to the economy, and millions of jobs have been shipped overseas under previous Republican and Democratic administrations.
The consequences of more than two decades of short-sighted import workers/export jobs policies are staggering, and they’ve taken a huge toll on American families. In today’s America, in one out of every five families, no one is employed. Many heads of households need to rely on two or more jobs just to get by, and even then according to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers earn less than $30,000 annually. And—a real shocker—the Federal Reserve Bank, after researching the trend for years, found that 47 percent of Americans could not come up with $400 to cover an emergency hospital visit without borrowing or hocking a personal item. When 47 percent of Americans don’t have $400 in ready cash, the country is flat-broke. The middle class isn’t vanishing, it’s gone. Thirty-five years ago, 61 percent of Americans were considered middle-class; today, the middle class is a minority.
Given the abundance of indicators that shows the U.S. economy and its workers in steep decline and deep financial trouble, adding more foreign-born workers undermines Americans’ already precarious stability. Yet, the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations have pursued that exact course by admitting more than one million legal, work-authorized immigrants annually. According to the BLS Household Survey, from January 2009 through May 2016, more than 3.5 million immigrants joined the work force, and immigrant employment has increased nearly four times as fast as native employment. More than 25 million immigrants are currently employed even though millions of Americans are either unemployed or under-employed.
Later this month, the Supreme Court will announce its U.S. v. Texas decision, the landmark case that will determine whether about five million illegal immigrants will be given a temporary deportation stay and employment authorization documents. Five million more workers would further saturate a labor market that can’t accommodate American job seekers.
Under the Obama administration and despite its obvious link to American job displacement, immigration has hit record highs. Obama’s critics wonder why the president cares so little about Americans, and the nation’s well-being.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.