Economic Policy Institute: Full Employment ‘Alarmingly Far Off’

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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.

April 3, 2014

When Congress reconvened on March 24, the comprehensive immigration reform wrangle resumed, almost by rote. Americans who favor enforcement-first nervously await the next White House subversion of existing immigration law.

Before the recess, President Obama ordered Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to look for ways that the agency could handle deportations “more humanely.” The Center for Immigration Studies research found that advocates’ “record deportation” claims are inflated by the devious administration math that adds aliens returned from the border to illegal immigrant removals from the interior. Previous administrations calculated the two categories of deportees, returns and removals, separately.

Meanwhile, Congress and the media ignore the immigration bills’ impact on American employment. Volumes of evidence from respected nonpartisan think tanks confirm the obvious – that that the U.S. has a surplus of unemployed workers, and that adding to the labor pool would make their job searches harder. Both the House and Senate versions would legalize 12 million illegal immigrants and more than double legal immigration within the first decade.

The Economic Policy Institute’s latest report, “Workers in Every Corner of the Nation Await Return to Full Employment,” showed that although there are some encouraging signs nationwide, only North Dakota has both replaced the jobs lost since the 2007 Great Recession and created enough jobs to keep up with population growth. During the period studied, North Dakota’s job growth reached nearly 25 percent. The EPI analysis includes an instructive interactive U.S. map that shows state-by-state unemployment changes since the 2007 recession started.

The EPI concluded that: “...the return to full employment remains alarmingly far off.”

Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to contact Congress. Urge them to prioritize unemployed America workers’ needs by voting against any amnesty bill that might be introduced.

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