Despite Lame December BLS Report, Millions of Illegal Immigrants May Soon Get Work Permits

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

January 9, 2015

Wall Street’s interpretation of the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on December employment: 252,000 jobs created; unemployment declines to 5.6 percent!

The vanishing American worker.

Footnotes to the report that matter more to frustrated American job seekers: the labor force participation rate continues its steady decline and dropped to 62.7 percent. A record 92.9 million didn’t participate in the labor force last month, 456,000 more nonparticipants than in November. Wages dipped five cents per hour.

In other words, the official patter about the December BLS report is the same as always. Administration supporters and Wall Street enthusiasts can always trumpet a few encouraging statistics. At the same time, the cheerleaders downplay the underlying facts more important to middle-class Americans desperate to get ahead before President Obama’s executive action that will give 5 million illegal immigrants work permits starting in May.

Obama’s amnesty has sparked an intense debate about the extent to which immigration hurts American workers. While it’s true that every month the economy creates jobs, most of them are low-paying, and Americans aren’t hired to fill them.

Sobering research from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) found that since the November 2007 collapse in the financial markets, 1.5 million fewer native-born Americans are working. During the same period, more than 2 million legal and illegal immigrants were employed in the United States. CIS analysts concluded that all the net new jobs created over a seven-year period have gone to immigrants.

The consequences of mass immigration and declining employment have fallen most heavily on American men. During the late 1960s, most males between the ages of 25 and 54 went to work. In any given week six decades ago, only about five in 100 didn’t have a job. Today, the labor participation rate of prime working-age American males has plunged to historic lows and is projected to decline further by 2022.

Adult males are usually a family’s primary wage earner. When the chief breadwinner loses his salaried job, then he’s often forced to take a low-skill position which creates extra competition for increasingly fewer jobs that in turn pushes down everyone’s pay scale.

Please do your part to help American workers. Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your representatives to vote to repeal Obama’s executive amnesty.

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