More Foreign Workers Would Hamper Wage Growth

The February 2019 job numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today contain both bad and good news. Many are disappointed that the economy added only 20,000 new jobs last month. However, as Breitbart’s John Carney points out, “February’s number is so low and such a deep departure from the prior months that many market watchers expect it will be revised upward.”

On the positive side, unemployment fell from 4 percent in January to 3.8 percent.

What is even better news – especially from the perspective of the average American – is that wages are rising. According to the BLS: “In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 11 cents to $27.66, following a 2-cent gain in January. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.4 percent.”

Even the leftist website Vox admitted that “that’s much faster than they’ve been growing since the recession started in 2007,” while simultaneously complaining of “sky-high payouts corporate CEOs are getting.”

Vox adds that “because gas prices have been dropping too, the cost of living is going down, so workers are feeling more of a financial cushion.”

Rising wages and a declining cost of living are good news. We should pursue policies that will keep this positive trend going.

Unfortunately, the notion that the U.S. “needs more foreign workers” – parroted by many business interests and pro-open-borders lobbying organizations and think-tanks (and, sadly, also the president) – threatens to undermine rising wages.

This is a simple matter of supply and demand (i.e. Economics 101). The labor market is increasingly tightening. Therefore, it makes sense that wages are climbing. That is what the upward mobility element of the “American Dream” is all about, after all.

Let us not jeopardize this by importing more foreign labor to compete with Americans. Those pushing the mantra of the “labor shortage” crisis – which is a myth that has been repeated ad nauseam for decades – should first consider investing in Americans that have been left behind. Otherwise, American society will ultimately pay the price of depressed or stagnant wages, urban overcrowding, supporting the relatives brought in by foreign workers, and other negative externalities.  

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  1. avatar

    Most Unfilled Jobs in America

    Were never intended to be filled by Americans anyway…..its a con game to get more foreign H-1Bs at lower wages replacing Americans…

    Our American NW high school students developed the O/S S/W Windows 95 and 98….excellent S/W with no “bad quality” patches or virus S/W needed….ever. Get rid of the incompetent jokes from India…give us back our jobs!

  2. avatar

    It’s true that wages are rising but that is relative because of decades of wage stagnation and decline. It’s understandable why corporations want mass immigration, to lower wages. It’s also understandable why their paid-off lackeys, otherwise known as Congress, do their bidding. They want to get reelected and not face tv ads paid for by those same corporations. Look at the Koch brothers who threaten to withdraw support from any Republican who doesn’t do their open borders bidding. And then a lot of Congress people “retire” but they are walking the same halls, but now as lobbyists. Interesting that Vox would be complaining of “sky high” salaries for corporate heads, but won’t even consider that 30 years of mass immigration has produced these uneven results.

    What is not understandable is why the average citizen supports mass immigration. Is it not obvious that the bigger the labor pool the less companies will have to pay? If you won’t accept the wages, then one of the next guys behind you will. How can the average person claim to be an environmentalist when present immigration levels, much less increased levels. are pushing population growth of 25 million per decade. How does the average driver in Los Angeles, sitting in two hour freeway traffic jams, support their “leaders” opening the door to the entire world? You have to have the IQ of a rock not to see this.

  3. avatar

    I started working in IT way back in ’75. Salaries slowly but steadily increased into the 80’s, then more rapidly as inflation took hold. By 1985, you could finally afford a middle-class standard of living as a “programmer” [aka “coder” in today’s parlance, as in “learn to code!”] All that wage growth STOPPED after 1991, when Congress was bribed to create the “H1-B ‘temporary” visa program to address the “labor shortage.” At first no one in the field knew what was happening; we simply assumed a few of our new Indian co-workers were random “immigrants.” Soon the writing was on the wall; “body shops” were replacing “laid off” employees en masse and all the “new guys” [there were scarcely any women] were named Hari, Rami, and Sanjay. They didn’t know the language syntax – I mean programming language – thoroughly, were unfamiliar with the applications, and you found out that four or five were sharing a single apartment. But, they did work a lot of hours and you found out it was b/c they worked CHEAP! A lot of my friends gave up looking for a job in the field and took jobs paying less than they had been making.