Friday, August 11, 2006

They Took Our Jobs!

No, no they didn't.
High levels of immigration in the past 15 years do not appear to have hurt employment opportunities for American workers, according to a new report.

The Pew Hispanic Center analyzed immigration state by state using U.S. Census data, evaluating it against unemployment levels. No clear correlation between the two could be found.

Other factors, such as economic growth, have likely played a larger role in influencing the American job market, said Rakesh Kochhar, principal author of the report and an economist at the Pew Hispanic Center in the District.

"We are simply looking for a pattern across 50 states, and we did not find one," Kochhar said. "We cannot say with certainty that growth in the foreign population has hurt or helped American jobs."

Immigration policy is a central issue in this fall's congressional elections. The report's findings appear to refute the idea -- often voiced by supporters of stricter immigration laws -- that foreign workers depress wages and take jobs from American workers, especially those with less education and fewer skills.

In the 10 states with the top employment rates from 2000 to 2004, for example, five states showed a high influx of immigrants while the other five showed little growth in the foreign-born population. "Even in relatively slow economic times, a relationship fails to reveal itself," Kochhar said.

Gotta love the Pew Hispanic Center, they do some really great stuff. It seems the job situation has so little to do with immigration that the general economic tide of the moment completely overshadows the effect of immigration on the job market.


Chuck Butcher said...

Well Cwech, as a construction employer I may be a little closer to the situation than PEW and I will tell you quite simply that it is no trick to underbid a firm if you pay substandard wages or avoid the tax & comp liabilities by doing illegal hiring. That practice forces wages down. Another aspect is that a labor glut forces wages down. So let's all just jump on the "liberal" bandwagon that figures legal blue collar wage earners are disposable in the interest of illegal aliens and their illegal cheating criminal employers, not to mention creating a nice safety valve for foreign corrupt racist xenophobic plutocrats - no I couldn't possibly mean Mexico or ...

BTW, the methodology of these "studies" makes a world of difference, as Twain observed, "there are liars, damn liars, and statisticians"

Take a look at Idaho wage rates, since you're sure I exaggerate.

Cwech said...

Actually, you bring up a good point, the Pew study didn't look at wage rates, it looked at job availability. So it is certainly plausible that illegal immigration forces wages down while not effecting the job availability. The wage question is a different one that is also an important piece of the puzzle, the Pew study didn't look at wages at all, just job availability. And yes, methodology is important, but Pew's methodology here appears to me to be sound.

Chuck Butcher said...

So what you're saying is that absolutely correct methodology was used to make a pointless study that bolsters a point of view that ignores the real world consequences for millions of Americans and legal immigrants, how badly they're paid.

Don't you start to get the feeling that you're being used? Somebody benefits...

There are a multitude of ways to obscure the relavant facts in any discourse, if you don't look for them you get taken down the primrose path.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Cwech, you got totally owned.

The answer to the question "Do Invaders take our jobs?" is "Yes, yes they do."

Ask a truck driver, florist, laborer, drywall worker, painter, framer, custodian, trucker, cook, etc. etc. etc.

The Pew HISPANIC Center isn't biased or anything, as demonstrated by their puerile and imbalanced study.

Wake up and get a clue.

Anonymous said...

Even if they aren't taking jobs, what kind of jobs are they getting? Aren't they predominantly low wage jobs? And the more of them there are, the lower the wages. Ever hear current illegal immigration described as "importing poverty"? Could that be happening? Is that a good thing? Visit your local 'barrio' to find out for yourself. If you don't have one in your area yet, just wait a few years -- you will. Don't know what a "barrio" is? So you're not sure you'd recognize it even if you had one? I'll define it for you: it's a suburban Hispanic slum.

A couple of demographic facts can be easily verified: When compared to the existing US population, Hispanics (most illegals are Hispanic) are, on average, 1) a lot more likely to be criminal, and 2) a lot less likely to attend and graduate from college. Then visit the US Census Bureau site and take a look at its population projections; you'll see that we're not talking about immigration, but mass immigration that is bringing demographic change. In fact, at the current pace Hispanics will eventually outnumber Whites, probably before the end of this century. Then write an entry explaining how that can possible be in the long-term interest of the US.

Abe said...

What kind of immigration, if legal immigration they didn't take our jobs because they are us now. If illegal keep in mind they do these jobs because Americans refuse to do these jobs.

Robin Corkery said...

Abe says illegals take jobs Americans "refuse to do". Funny, all those jobs, such as busing tables, shining shoes, working in car washes, roofing houses, digging ditches, and mowing lawns are done by Americans here in Spokane. And there are plenty of Americans younger than I am who used to pick fruit in the summer. But when growers can lower their costs by hiring uneducated and docile third world labor they'll do it, Americans be damned.

Dave said...

Even anti-immigrant economists don't try to imply that immigration increases unemployment among native Americans. In theory the wage adjusts until the market clears.

Studies have been done to try to measure the extent that immigration has affected wages. Over the years, the studies have failed to find any evidence.

The most recent data (Borjas) show that the influx of low skilled immigrants over the past two decades has caused wages for high school drop outs to decline by 5% +- or about $1200 per year (i.e. chump change).

The same data show that the immigration caused wages of workers with a high school diploma to actualy INCREASE! Other studies have found that a high school diploma can increase a worker's earning potential by as much as 30 to 40% (not chump change).

Many high school drop outs have qualities and behaviors that make them unattractive to employers. If you dropped out of high school, competition from immigrants is a minor problem.

Abe said...

native Americans you mean the indians cause those are the only native americans, the rest are immigrants.

Abe said...


I guess some Americans will do those jobs but it seems like most won't.

BrightWhiteLight said...

Here's how to magically change a decent job currently done by a American into one that only an illegal alien will take:

Lower the wages by 25%.

Presto Chango, IT'S DONE!