Jobs Americans Won’t Do? Most Americans Not Buying the Rhetoric

A majority of U.S. voters believe that Americans are willing to do jobs along the entire spectrum of the economy – from construction and hospitality to technology and service jobs – if the pay and working conditions are improved, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports online survey.

Contrary to the public policy elite in Washington, the survey found that 54 percent of white and 65 percent of black Americans reject the notion that immigrants, legal or otherwise, are needed to fill these vacant jobs.

The survey zeroed in on the disconnect between policymakers and those they purport to represent, finding that the lower the household income, the more likely a voter was to firmly believe that Americans are willing and able to fill the full gamut of jobs vacated due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. In households making less than $50,000 per year, 57 percent of voters agreed that Americans are willing to do any job given fair wages and working conditions, while in households making in excess of $200,000 per year, only 48 percent of voters agreed. 

The Rasmussen survey comes as the business lobby and cheap labor interests continue to dog the Trump administration over the April and June executive orders that temporarily froze immigration and then guestworker admissions in order to give the roughly 20 million unemployed American workers a better chance of getting back on their feet after COVID-19 driven layoffs. 

The laws of supply and demand should dictate that restricted immigration and guestworker admissions should help lead to improved wages and working conditions for Americans as employers are forced to big up salaries and sweeten benefits as they try to attract a more limited number of workers. 

Unfortunately, ongoing mass immigration, first begun with the enactment of the 1965 immigration law, has ushered in an era of depressed wages that transcends generations. A Pew Research study finds that for most American workers, wages, in real terms, remain exactly where they were in 1974.

It’s clear that in order to help raise salaries to levels where they become a livable wage, the U.S. will need an extended pause in all guestworker admissions and many categories of legal immigration.

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