Fewer US-Born Americans Have Jobs Now Than In 2007

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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Fewer Americans born in the U.S. have jobs now than were employed to November 2007, despite a working-age population growth of 11 million.

The amazing drop in employment highlights President Barack Obama’s slow recovery from the deep 2008 shock, but also spotlights many companies’ growing reliance on foreign migrant labor.

Almost one in every two jobs added since 2009 have gone to foreign-born workers.

In November 2014, one in every five U.S. jobs was held by a foreign-born worker, up from one-in-six jobs in January 2010, according to federal data highlighted by the Center for Immigration Studies.

Since November 2007, the number of working legal and illegal migrants has risen by two million, from 23.1 million in November 2007 to 25.1 million in November 2014.

But the number of Americans aged 16 to 65 with jobs has fallen by 1.5 million, from 124 million in November 2007 to 122.6 million November 2014.

“All of the net gain in employment since 2007 has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). … Native [aged 16 to 65] employment has still not returned to pre-recession levels, while immigrant employment already exceeds pre-recession level,” said a Dec. 19 statement from the group.

The job transfer from Americans to immigrants has accelerated since the economy bottomed out in mid-2009.

Since January 2010, 5.4 million foreign-born people have gained jobs in the recovery.

That’s almost equal to the 6.9 million Americans who gained jobs since January 2010, even though the U.S-born working age population is five times larger than the immigration population.

The influx of foreign workers includes many foreign graduates. Their arrival is forcing many debt-burdened Americans graduates to start their careers in lower-wage jobs. Those American graduates will be stuck with lower wages for many years unless employers face a shortage of workers in the next few years.

That process has widened the gap in wealth between the wealthiest one percent and the rest of the country.

The surplus of workers, dubbed a “slack labor market,” has largely been ignored by media outlets, which have tried to blame stagnant wages on Wall Street greed, technology, education, the recession and various other causes.

Media coverage of the immigration issue has overwhelmingly focused on the preferences of migrants, not the preference of actual Americans now working in canneries and meat-packing plants, hospitals, universities and office parks.

Each year, 4.3 million Americans turn 18 and compete for decent jobs.

They’re joined by roughly 650,000 working-age legal immigrants, roughly 650,000 non-agriculture guest workers, plus roughly 800,000 other migrants, including many illegal immigrants who cross the southern border or overstay their visas.

White House officials have tried to argue that the inflow of foreign labor will boost productivity and create opportunities for American workers.

On Nov. 20, President Barack Obama announced he would provide work permits to five million illegal immigrants in the United States.

In the past, Obama has admitted that migrant workers threaten wages for lower-skilled Americans, including African-Americans.

Obama has also offered work permits to at least 50,000 Central American migrants who crossed the border in 2014 and to 110,000 Haitian immigrants.

Since 2012, Obama has also given work permits to 600,000 younger illegals, under the so-called “DACA” program.

Obama has also offered work permits to 100,000 additional guest workers and he announced Nov. 20 that he would increase the inflow of university trained guest workers for jobs sought by Americans graduates.

Roughly one million foreign, university-trained guest workers are already working in the United States in a wide variety of long-term jobs in universitieshospitalsfinance firms, retail and technology firms.

Overall, Obama has announced plans to give work permits to an extra six million migrants, in addition to the roughly eight million legal migrants that will arrive during his eight years in the White House. That adds up to almost one new foreign worker for every two Americans who tun 18.

A growing number of populist GOP politicians say the displacement of Americans by migrants is unfair.

“When it comes to illegal immigration, the conversation is always about the illegal immigrant, not about the people it will effect,” Pennsylvania Rep. Louis Barletta said a Dec. 2 hearing with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. “I don’t think it is fair … to put illegal immigrants ahead of the American worker.”

“From 1980 through 2013, the immigrant population tripled from 14 million to more than 41 million. … The sustained large-scale flow of legal immigration — overwhelmingly lower-wage and lower-skilled — has placed substantial downward pressure on wages,” Sen. Jeff Sessions said Dec. 12 about Obama’s amnesty. “Is not the sensible and rational thing to do to slow [immigration] down a bit, allow wages to rise, assimilation to occur, and to help those struggling here today rise into the middle class?”

However, the business-backed GOP leadership has allowed Obama’s high-immigration policies.

Led by House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell, they did not make any effort to defund Obama’s amnesty plans when they drafted and pushed through the government’s 2015 budget. Instead, GOP leaders say they want to pass laws boosting the inflow of foreign workers in 2015.

The impact of mass immigration on Americans’ jobs and wages may become a major issue in the 2016 election.

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