CEO to Business Owners: Raise U.S. Wages to Bring Disenfranchised Americans Back into Workforce

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The chairman and CEO of a billion dollar financial planning company is urging American businesses to raise U.S. workers’ wages to attract disenfranchised Americans back into the labor market.

Karen Firestone, the CEO of Aureus Asset Management, tells businesses in her column for CNBC that they should raise Americans’ wages to integrate workers back into the workforce instead of demanding that more foreign workers be imported to take coveted white collar and blue collar jobs.

Firestone writes:

Therefore, I would conclude that the ubiquitous “Help Wanted” signs I see in multiple storefronts and restaurants, and articles about industries such as trucking, airlines, nursing, and IT will force employers, faced with labor shortages, to ultimately pay more. After the recession, millions of people who lost jobs became self-employed or under-employed – Uber drivers, personal trainers, dog walkers, home relocation experts, etc., and they were simply not in the data set.

Offer them enough, and many will come back to the labor force. Meanwhile, I’ve lost my dog walker. She’s back working for a digital advertising company.

In President Trump’s tightened labor market, sects of blue collar American workers have seen rising wages as immigration enforcement is ramped up. But, overall, wages have grown at a slow pace, indicating that the labor market could be further tightened to help more quickly raise U.S. wages.

While Firestone says businesses should be working to bring Americans back to the labor force, the majority of the big business, Wall Street, and financial industry has lobbied the Trump administration and Congress to import more foreign workers to compete against Americans.

Most recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote in a letter to Trump and Congress that not only should illegal aliens be given amnesty, but the president’s popular plan to reduce legal immigration to boost Americans’ wages should be opposed and halted.

With the tightened labor market, there has been history-making wage growth for American workers in the construction industry, the garment industry, for workers employed at small businessesblack Americans, and restaurant workers.

The tight labor market has also secured higher wages for overtime workers and high-paying, coveted white collar jobs for American teenagers. Most recently, Breitbart News reported how the construction industry has had to recruit women to take jobs at higher wages rather than hiring illegal aliens. A Chick-Fil-A in California even raised wages to $18 an hour to retain workers.

Labor data does not accurately explain the wage growth in pockets of blue-collar industries that Americans across the U.S. have experienced due to the Trump administration’s stricter immigration enforcement. This is largely due to the fact that labor data does not break down wage growth by occupation and industry.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder


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