While native-born Americans accounted for more than half of the working-age population growth in Georgia since 2000, the net increase in employment went entirely to legal and illegal immigrants, according to a new report from the Center for Immigration Studies.
According to CIS — which reached its conclusions by analyzing government data — from the first quarter of 2000 to the first quarter of 2014 the total number of employed working-age immigrants in Georgia increased by 400,000. In that same timeframe the number of working-age “natives” with a job declined by 71,000 — despite the fact that “natives” represented 54 percent of the overall working-age population growth.
“There are a huge number of working-age people in Georgia not working and labor force participation remains at record lows,” Steven Camarota, the research director at CIS and lead author of the report, said in a statement Thursday.
CIS points out the the Senate-passed immigration bill not only would have legalized the undocumented immigrant population, it also would have practically doubled the number of guest workers.
The report draws two conclusions namely that there is not a “general labor shortage in the state” and that immigration does not necessarily spur job creation.
“Georgia working-age immigrant population grew 167 percent from 2000 to 2014, one of the highest of any state in the nation. Yet the number of work-age native working in 2014 was actually lower than in 2000,” the report reads. “This undermines the argument that immigration on balance increases job opportunities for natives.”
In recent months CIS has been highlighting the lack of job growth among native-born Americans compared to immigrants in various U.S. states and the overall country
Other findings include:
– In the first quarter of this year, only 64 percent of working-age natives in the state held a job. As recently as 2000, 74 percent of working-age natives in Georgia were working.
– Because the native working-age population in Georgia grew significantly, but the share working actually fell, there were 684,000 more working-age natives not working in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000 — a 52 percent increase.
– Perhaps most troubling is that the labor force participation rate (share working or looking for work) of Georgia’s working-age natives has not improved, even after the jobs recovery began in 2010.1
– In fact, the labor force participation of natives in Georgia shows a long-term decline, with the rate lower at the last economic peak in 2007 than at the prior peak in 2000.
– The supply of potential workers in Georgia is very large: In the first quarter of 2014, two million working-age natives were not working (unemployed or entirely out of the labor market), as were 208,000 working-age immigrants.
– In terms of the labor-force participation rate among working-age natives, the state ranks 36th in the nation.