The net increase in the number of employed working-age adults in North Carolina has gone entirely to legal and illegal immigrants since 2000, according to an analysis of government data conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies.
According to the limited immigration group, while the “native” working age (16-65 years old) North Carolina population has increased by 61 percent since 2000, the share of “natives” in that state’s work force has declined.
“The total number of working-age (16 to 65) immigrants (legal and illegal) holding a job in North Carolina increased by 313,000 from the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2014, while the number of working-age natives with a job declined by 32,000 over the same time,” the report reads, explaining that in the past 14 years has seen the labor-force participation of natives in North Carolina in decline.
The study comes as North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan — who voted for the Senate-passed “Gang of Eight” immigration bill last summer that would have provided a path to legalization to the undocumented population and significantly increased the number of guest workers in the United States — is engaged in a tight re-election bid against Republican challenger Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC).
“A huge number of working-age people in North Carolina are not working, and labor force participation remains at record lows. Thus, it is remarkable that any of the state’s political leaders would support legislation that would actually increase the number of foreign workers allowed into the country,” Steven Camarota, CIS’s head of research and the report’s lead author, said in a statement.
According to CIS the two major conclusions from their study include:
-First, the long-term decline in employment for natives in North Carolina and the enormous number of working-age natives not working clearly indicate that there is no general labor shortage in the state. Thus, it is very difficult to justify the large increases in foreign workers (skilled and unskilled) who would be allowed into the country by a bill like S.744 that many of the state’s politicians support.
-Second, North Carolina’s working-age immigrant population grew 146 percent from 2000 to 2014, one of the highest rates of any state in the nation. Yet the number of natives working in 2014 was actually lower than in 2000. This undermines the argument that immigration increases job opportunities for natives.