The utter incongruity of U.S. immigration and economic policies has been brought sharply into focus by the “Great Recession.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that politicians in D.C. are working to correct the problem; but at least it makes it more difficult for them to defend policies that are manifestly detrimental to American workers. With job creation “lower than expected” month after month and with 51.7 million Americans of working age (18 to 65) without jobs, one would think a top priority would be immigration reform that benefits American workers. Sadly, this is one “jobs initiative” the American public hears little about from their elected leaders and President Obama’s job creation speech to a joint session of Congress utterly failed to address any aspect of the problem.
The current unemployment situation is the worst America has faced in over 30 years. But knowing that the unemployment rate is 9.1% does not really convey the magnitude of the situation. U.S. News & World Report has released “15 Stunning Statistics About the Jobs Market.” Below are some of the lowlights.
• The total number of jobs (nonfarm) held by Americans in August was 131.2 million. In January 2000, total employment was 130.8 million. That means that there are fewer 400,000 more jobs in the U.S. now than there were a decade ago, while the working-age population has grown by 28 million.
• The number of workers currently employed as a percentage of the working-age population in August was 58%. In December 2007, it was 63%.
• There are 11.5 million fewer job holders today than there were in 2007.
• 25.4% of teenagers are unemployed.
• According to Gallup, 18.5 percent of the total workforce remains underemployed.
Isn’t time for politicians to consider that bringing in hundreds of thousands of foreign workers every year might not be in the interest of American workers?