Advocates of high levels of immigration who favor toleration of illegal immigrants often claim that immigrants do jobs that no one else wants to do. But of course in a labor market, like any other market, there is always a price at which demand and supply equal. Absent the influx of low ability immigrants many of the jobs they do would still get done, albeit at a higher price. In many cases work would be restructured, innovative ways to get tasks done with less labor would be found, and more capital equipment and automation would be utilized.
A recent report from the Center for Immigration Studies
Among the findings:/p>
"The idea that immigration is a self regulating process that rises and falls in close step with the economy is simply wrong,” said Steven Camarota, the report’s author and the Center’s Director of Research. “Today, the primary sending countries are so much poorer than the United States, even being unemployed in America is still sometimes better than staying in one’s home country.”
- The 34.24 million immigrants (legal and illegal) now living in the country is the highest number ever recorded in American history and a 4.3-million increase since 2000.
- Of the 4.3 million growth, almost half, or 2 million, is estimated to be from illegal immigration.
- In the data collected by the Census Bureau, there were roughly 9 million illegal aliens. Prior research indicates that 10 percent of illegal aliens are missed by the survey, suggesting a total illegal population of about 10 million in March of this year.
- The same data also show that in the years between 2000 and 2004, nearly 6.1 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) arrived from abroad. Arrivals are offset by deaths and return migration among immigrants already here, so the total increased by 4.3 million.
- The 6.1 million new immigrants who arrived in the four years since 2000 compares to 5.5 million new arrivals in the four years prior to 2000, during the economic expansion.
- The pace of immigration is so surprising because unemployment among immigrants increased from 4.4 to 6.1 percent, and the number of unemployed immigrants grew by 43 percent.
- States with the largest increase in their immigrant population were Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.
Note that in the 2000-2003 period total native employment was falling by a couple of million people while immigrant employment increased by about the same number. However, since total number of immigrants in the country was rising the immigrant unemployment rate was rising. So illegals came in larger numbers into a worsening job market to become unemployed here.
The lowest unemployment rate was in Bryan-College Station, Texas, at 1.7 percent. Of the 25 metro areas with unemployment rates below 3 percent in October, about half were homes to large state universities, the statistics bureau noted.
The nation's highest unemployment rate was in Yuma, Ariz. — 23.6 percent. All of the next-highest jobless rates were in six metro areas in the agricultural central valley of California.
Brains, not brawn, create the highest value jobs. Our immigration policy should reflect this fundamental fact.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2004 December 03 04:07 PM Immigration Economics|