What Labor Shortage?



Two of the favorite justifications for an illegal alien amnesty and massive immigration increases are:

  1. We need lots of new immigrants to avert a looming labor shortage, and
  2. We need lots of new immigrant workers to keep the Social Security system solvent.

If common sense is not enough to tell you that both of those statements are false, there is now data to back it up.

America’s younger workers – recent college graduates – not only suffer from high unemployment, but those who can find work often wind up in jobs for which they are overqualified and earning wages that make it difficult to pay off their college educations.  They also are potentially losing out in hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings over their career, as they are starting out lower on the economic ladder than they would in a healthy economy.

Those under-utilized and underpaid workers should be the answer to our labor needs, but cheap labor interests and the politicians who serve them, would rather have access to more immigrant labor. Given the opportunity, America’s beleaguered younger working would be paying into the Social Security Trust Fund for the next four decades or so.

The data also show that many workers at the older end of the spectrum are delaying retirement, which means they will not be drawing Social Security benefits for quite as long as anticipated.

Thus, an immigration policy that allows younger Americans to fill the jobs they’re qualified to do, at decent wages, coupled with older workers staying in the labor force longer, could well result in both the alleged labor shortage problem and the Social Security solvency problem solving themselves.

About Author

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Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.

16 Comments

  1. avatar
    cynthia curran on

    I mean Texas politicians like Ted Poe and governor Rick Perry want the foreign born to do construction and high tech.

  2. avatar
    cynthia curran on

    Reps. Raul Labrador (R-Id.) and Ted Poe (R-Texas) are working on legislation that could potentially double the number of low-skilled worker visas offered in the Schumer-Obama amnesty bill, S.744. The proposal could increase the number of guest worker visas from the 200,000 set forth by the Senate bill to 400,000.

    The concern is not just the horrible impact this proposal could have low-skilled unemployed Americans, but it could also disrupt the fragile agreement between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO regarding the guest worker visa provisions in S.744.

    Both Reps. Labrador and Poe don’t think the 200,000 cap in the Senate bill is enough. The bill also contains special protections for some industries, including construction.

    “We could use 15,000 [visas] the first day in Texas. We have that much demand for construction workers,” Rep. Poe told the Wall Street Journal.

    The AFL-CIO has already criticized the rumored legislation, while the Chamber of Commerce has yet to take a position.

    “We obviously think it’s ridiculous that they would attempt to reopen a done deal,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Hauser.

    “We haven’t seen it and have not taken a position yet,” a spokeswoman for the Chamber of Commerce said.

    For more information, see the Wall Street Journal.
    I’ve told Republicans or Conservatives several times to not have a romantic view of Texas. Texas Republicans had a guest worker provision in their platform in 2012. All the native born that are going to Texas will be unemployed since Texas politicians like Ted Poe want natives to do construction and high tech
    And the study done by CIS is right most of the jobs in Texas are going to the foreign born by Ted Poe reaction. Tea Party people need to be as hard on Texas like they currently are on California when it comes to foreign labor.

  3. avatar

    It is a matter of good business to lower costs and increases profits to make money. But when you flood the labor market, suppress wages using unskilled low wage workers and skilled workers who enter legally but work cheap. You destroy the real principle of the law of supply and demand. There is no labor shortage just people expecting a fair wage and a dependable job. But those out there who are not happy with millions of dollars now what billions on the backs of every day American workers. Not to mention the demise of students graduating from college with the hopes of good jobs being out casts to new legal visa works.

  4. avatar

    Is there any one really listening to Americans?? do are politicians really care about there own Americans welfare?? Why is there so much ignorance in our American politicians, so much until they just want to give America away to another country’s poor! How can they allow millions of illegal alien just sabotage America, they invaded America by the millions, made sure they have children born in America to get instant American citizenship, and benefit our government freebies, no real politicians want to stop them, instead they a decided to help them over populate America with our American birthright gateway to them! We have many politicians who constantly want to throw their own Americans under the bus by saying that illegal alien are better workers then Americans, actually they are cheaper workers then Americans, and they claim that illegal alien are doing work that Americans will not do! These same politicians want to pass a amnesty bill that would help millions of illegal aliens already working here illegal, keep their jobs, while at the same time there are millions of Americans left jobless in there own country, this is regardless of all their false social security numbers, false names, false ages, and regardless that employers do not know who they really are! Many of our own politicians refuse to force our immigration enforcement in our workplace, they much rather punish any American that would try to enforce our immigration laws, they just refuse to remove millions of illegal aliens from our jobs, and replace their jobs with jobless Americans who do have status to this country! Instead they tend to just throw all illegal alien wrongdoing underneath the carpet and just sugarcoat all their wrongdoings by bringing about how much of good workers they are in America, and how much America really need massive illegal immigration and how massive illegal immigration will now bring big money to America!

    I hope the republicans would stop this whole immigration mess period, before it is too late, and just enforce immigration law we already have, any kind of amnesty or legalization to millions of illegal aliens, will be just giving this country away, and forcing American to put up with this terrible change in America, An over population from another country, turn America in to that country! American will not have a chance, it will be under the commands and demands of Mexico and what they want of America, it will be about them more so! Americans will be into a terrible rude awakening! A lot of politicians refuse to see this, they feel that they are just helping people, and giving them what they want of America, so they are trying to clean house for their stay, and they seem like they are going over Americans heads, to do what they want, in the end just leaving Americans who have real status to this country voiceless!!!! Already Americans legal status has been terrible tarnished by millions of illegal aliens in America, our politicians tend to tell us that our immigration system is broken, it is not broken, it has been terrible ignored, and sabotaged for the purpose of keeping million of illegal aliens in this country, and set to benefit illegal aliens in America, also any government that try to stop illegal aliens, will get sue by our own American politicians, Our supreme court judges will side with illegal aliens and all their advocates!! Leaving Americans wondering who can they trust in America to protect them, who will actually secure America and save America from this massive immigration insanity!!!!!! I did not already say this, maybe something similar!

  5. avatar

    Is there any one really listening to Americans?? do are politicians really care about there own Americans welfare?? Why is there so much ignorance in our American politicians, so much until they just want to give America away to another country’s poor! How can they allow millions of illegal alien just sabotage America, they invaded America by the millions, made sure they have children born in America to get instant American citizenship, and benefit our government freebies, no real politicians want to stop them, instead they a decided to help them over populate America with our American birthright gateway to them! We have many politicians who constantly want to throw their own Americans under the bus by saying that illegal alien are better workers then Americans, actually they are cheaper workers then Americans, and they claim that illegal alien are doing work that Americans will not do! These same politicians want to pass a amnesty bill that would help millions of illegal aliens already working here illegal, keep their jobs, while at the same time there are millions of Americans left jobless in there own country, this is regardless of all their false social security numbers, false names, false ages, and regardless that employers do not know who they really are! Many of our own politicians refuse to force our immigration enforcement in our workplace, they much rather punish any American that would try to enforce our immigration laws, they just refuse to remove millions of illegal aliens from our jobs, and replace their jobs with jobless Americans who do have status to this country! Instead they tend to just throw all illegal alien wrongdoing underneath the carpet and just sugarcoat all their wrongdoings by bringing about how much of good workers they are in America, and how much America really need massive illegal immigration and how massive illegal immigration will now bring big money to America!

    I hope the republicans would stop this whole immigration mess period, before it is too late, and just enforce immigration law we already have, any kind of amnesty or legalization to millions of illegal aliens, will be just giving this country away, and forcing American to put up with this terrible change in America, An over population from another country, turn America in to that country! American will not have a chance, it will be under the commands and demands of Mexico and what they want of America, it will be about them more so! Americans will be into a terrible rude awakening! A lot of politicians refuse to see this, they feel that they are just helping people, and giving them what they want of America, so they are trying to clean house for their stay, and they seem like they are going over Americans heads, to do what they want, in the end just leaving Americans who have real status to this country voiceless!!!! Already Americans legal status has been terrible tarnished by millions of illegal aliens in America, our politicians tend to tell us that our immigration system is broken, it is not broken, it has been terrible ignored, and sabotaged for the purpose of keeping million of illegal aliens in this country, and set to benefit illegal aliens in America, also any government that try to stop illegal aliens, will get sue by our own American politicians, Our supreme court judges will side with illegal aliens and all their advocates!! Leaving Americans wondering who can they trust in America to protect them, who will actually secure America and save America from this massive immigration insanity!!!!!!

  6. avatar

    OH MY! Are there any more ways to keep the living, breathing human Americans from
    having jobs? Between our politicians allowing in more illegals and legal immigrants for
    the greedy employers to hire for cheaper wages, now robots again!! Hopefully they will
    be too expensive at least for a few years for them to be feasible to the employers!
    Look’s like the only alternative’s we have are (1)To march in the streets by the thousands,
    and demand our rights to get OUR politicians attention. or(2) “Vote the Bums OUT.” Of
    course we will have to keep track of who is for American workers and who isn’t!!

  7. avatar
    cynthia curran on

    Remember The Jetsons, a 1960s Hanna-Barbera cartoon featuring a family who lives in the year 2062? One of the regular characters on this popular animated show was Rosey, The Jetsons’ humanoid maid. Rosey rolled around the house on a single leg and a set of caster wheels as she performed household chores, made wise-cracks and gave valuable advise to the family.

    Watching a cartoon robot take care of a family in 2062 is one thing, but actually having a robot serve as a home health care provider in 2013 is something else all together! It looks as if engineers at Georgia Institute of Technology and other research institutions are making this happen now.

    Georgia Tech engineers have created, Cody, a robotic nurse. Cody has the ability to perform several functions, including bathing patients who cannot bathe themselves because of their medical condition. Cody can be operated by the patient and told what body part to clean.

    Currently, home health nurses or a family member will bathe a patient. The engineers say that a patient may find it awkward or embarrassing for a family member or nurse to bathe them, but a robot could relieve the patient of this embarrassment.
    Chich Hung King, the lead engineer of the project, served as a test subject for the robotic nurse, according to a Georgia Tech news release. King said that he placed blue pieces of candy on his arms and legs to see whether Cody could wipe away debris from patients’ body parts without using too much force. King said Cody passed the test by wiping away the candy with his washcloth hand. The test results were reported at an international conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) in 2010.

    “In the beginning, I felt a bit tense, but never scared,” King stated in the news release. “As the experiment progressed, my trust in the robot grew and my tension waned. Throughout the experiment, I suffered little to no discomfort.”

    According to a May 19, 2013, article in the New York Times, Carnegie Mellon University has developed the Home Exploring Robot Butler, nicknamed HERB. This robotic butler, similar to Rosey, the Jetsons’ maid, can clean the kitchen and give patients household objects such as cups.

    The New York Times article mentioned a recent Georgia Tech study that showed older adults were interested in the idea of having a robot help them at home, but the way the robot looked played a big part in whether they would trust the robot to do certain functions. For instance, the study found that older adults wanted robots who looked like humans to help them with tasks involving intelligence, such as suggesting which medicines to take. They wanted sterile-looking machines to do labor such as cooking and cleaning, “so they do not feel guilty bossing it about,” the article said.

    Jim Osborn, a roboticist and executive director of the Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute’s Quality of Life Technology Center, told the Times, “There are two trends that are going in opposite directions. One is the increasing number of elderly people, and the other is the decline in the number of people to take care of them. Part of the view we’ve already espoused is the robots will start to fill the gaps.

  8. avatar
    Svetlana Crawley on

    I made my contribution against illegal amnesty by giving snd representing some of the numbers to recent graduates. Looks like some of them changed their point of view.in question why we don’t need illegal workers here and why we have to be careful with amnesty. it all political game we are just numbers for them. More votes more spending on ssn

  9. avatar

    Ryan is a stooge for Big Dairy and the Chamber of Horrors. He’s doing their bidding and is not representing American citizens in Wisconsin.

  10. avatar

    The worst possible circumstances you could imagine here in the US would still be like they died and went to heaven for most of the starving refugees around the world. We built this country. Lets not give it away too quickly.

  11. avatar
    Michael J. Marsalek on

    When the U.S. invaded Iraq, Bush’s intention was to revive the failing U.S. economy by supplying Iraq with everything from soup to nuts that had been denied by more than 10 years of crippling sanctions. Bush needed millions of low paid unskilled workers as fast as humanly possible to fire up the manufacturing and industrial sectors. This was accomplished by slowing immigration enforcement, announcing the availability of jobs and promising support for immigration reform. Holy cow Batman !! Bush’s agenda was to invade Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein. This was Bush’s stated intention while still Governor of Texas. At the same time, Bush planned to revive the failing U.S. economy by supplying the Happy Iraqi’s with everything that the U.S. had been denying them for years. And also, Bush and the GOP would be the beneficiaries of 20 million or so soon to be very happy Hispanic voters. All of this would have worked well except for Bush’s ” irrefutable evidence ” that Saddam Hussein had WMD & intended to use them against the U.S. and its allies. Darn that Saddam Hussein.
    It turns out that he got rid of all of his WMD and the ” ( secret ) ” irrefutable evidence ” that Bush had confirmed that Hussein did not have any WMD. Long story short – the millions of illegal aliens that Bush brought in have displaced millions of American workers from their jobs. Also, any American workers still fortunate enough to have jobs, are being forced to work for less money and still more are being forced into part time status rather than full time. Oh and finally – the Hispanic community overwhelmingly votes Democratic. Thank you George Bush.

    • avatar
      Raymond Babcock on

      i hope the country fails so the wannan be americans will leave and the true americans can live in peace and grow are own food

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