By Joe Guzzardi
October 5, 2015
Here’s how Northern Trust chief economist Carl Tannenbaum described September’s awful Bureau of Labor statistics September report which found that the economy created a mere 142,000 jobs, some of which are part-time: “There’s nothing good in this morning’s [Friday’s] report. We had very low levels of job creation, wage growth isn’t budging, and the unemployment rate [5.1 percent] would have risen if the labor force participation rate hadn’t fallen [to 62.4 percent].” Northern Trust, a leading Chicago-based bank, manages $925 billion in assets.
The few jobs created fell far short of expectations and were mostly in low-paying sectors like restaurant servers and bartenders. Manufacturing jobs dropped. As if September’s bad news isn’t dreary enough, BLS adjusted July and August figures downward by a combined 59,000 jobs. Nearly 95 million Americans are not in the labor force.
Delving deeper into the dismal Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, some economists reported that American workers are suffering the effects of prolonged, sustained immigration. The evidence that adding about one million work authorized legal immigrants year after year for decades has been apparent for a while. But now, with so much sustained immigration, the proof that it’s hurting Americans is incontrovertible.
Tyler Durden, who writes for the highly respected website Zerohedge.com, researched employment statistics since 2007, and found that during President Obama’s years in the White House foreign-born employment has outdistanced native-born by 300 percent.
Last month’s shocking raw numbers: immigrants gained 14,000 jobs while employment for native-born Americans plunged by 262,000 jobs. September is the third consecutive month when immigrant employment outpaced American employment. Over the past two months native-born employment fell by 374,000, or 0.3 percent, while working immigrants rose by 334,000, a 1.4 percent gain.
The statistics about immigrant employment, rarely included in mainstream media financial reporting, come from the alternate BLS study, the household survey which includes race and ethnicity data while the more widely referenced payroll survey does not. Disbelieving readers can find both surveys online.
Returning to the key point Northern Trust’s Tannenbaum made about stagnant wages, consider what President Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich said in 2007. Referencing the omnipresent amnesty that the Bush administration constantly advocated for, and which Obama has endlessly promoted, Reich said more immigration means fewer jobs for Americans as well lower wages for those who are lucky enough to find and keep a job. Reich’s findings are consistent with Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors which concluded that “immigration has increased the relative supply of less educated labor and appears to have contributed to the increasing inequality of income."
Nobel Prize winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman made an argument similar to Reich’s. According to Krugman, who applied basic supply and demand laws, immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. Large increases in the number of low-skilled workers relative to other inputs into production inevitably put downward pressure on wages. The most adversely effected Americans are minorities, U.S.-born teenagers and returning military veterans.
Reich, Clinton and Krugman are liberal Democrats and amnesty advocates who nevertheless cannot deny that unprecedented immigration has been toxic for American workers.
If there’s a silver lining to the relentlessly depressing economic news it may be that the correlation between excessive immigration and struggling American workers has become so obvious that it should be an essential talking point in the ongoing presidential debates. A majority of Americans correctly believe that historic immigration has weakened the job market and stagnated wages for native-born, low hanging fruit for presidential candidates.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]