School’s Out and Kids Actually Want Summer Jobs, Even as More of them Will Go to Foreign Workers



According to the “experts,” there are basically two kinds of jobs in our economy:

  1. Jobs Americans won’t do, and
  2. Jobs Americans aren’t qualified to do.

Under one of those two rubrics, U.S. employers in all sectors of the economy have successfully pressed for increases in a whole alphabet soup of guestworker visas.

Most recently, lower-skill employers successfully lobbied the Biden administration for 22,000 additional H-2B seasonal worker visas in anticipation of the summer season – over and above the annual 66,000 cap set by Congress. (Since the Biden administration is pursuing an open borders policy anyway, getting them to authorize more guest workers was not exactly a Herculean task.)

The business lobby’s justification for the 33 percent visa increase during a period of high unemployment fell under category #1. These, they claim, are jobs Americans, especially spoiled American kids, won’t do.

Turns out, much of that argument rests on the definition of “won’t.” A lot of American high school and college kids on summer break won’t be working at amusement parks, restaurants, or as lifeguards not because they are unwilling, but because they won’t have the opportunity since they may be filled by foreign guest workers.

Markeplace.org, which airs on NPR stations all across the country, reports that after several decades of decline in teen summer employment, there is a resurgence of kids looking for summer jobs. According to Andrew Challenger, of the staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, “Kids want to get out of the house. They’ve been cooped up for a long time, and there aren’t as many school-based activities for them to do this year.” Additionally, they need the money (college is very expensive) and they also want to gain real world employment experience.

Not only do kids want summer jobs, Marketplace.org finds that small employers (the kind that do not have high-priced lobbyists in Washington) are embracing the idea of filling seasonal jobs with teenagers who are on summer break by offering better pay and other incentives.

As the report notes, however, the 2 million American teenagers expected to fill jobs this summer are disproportionally white, which means that the additional 22,000 jobs that employers can now fill with foreign workers are disproportionally harming minority kids who, undoubtedly, could benefit from a paycheck and work experience. As is often the case, the Biden administration’s penchant for unchecked immigration is short-circuiting market forces that could achieve its professed goal of increasing opportunities for minorities.

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.

FAIR blogs can now be found on our main site at https://www.fairus.org/blog