12M Americans Out of Workforce as DHS Approves 30K More Foreign Workers

H2-B Visa Landscape Workers
AP/Elise Amendola

Nearly 12 million Americans remain out of the United States labor force as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approved 30,000 more foreign workers  businesses can bring to the country to take blue-collar U.S. jobs.

As Breitbart News reported, Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said this week that he would approve an additional 30,000 H-2B foreign visa workers to be brought to the U.S. by businesses to take blue-collar, non-agricultural jobs. This comes as former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen approved an additional 30,000 H-2B foreign workers in March.

Every year, U.S. companies are allowed to import 66,000 low-skilled H-2B foreign workers to take blue-collar, non-agricultural jobs. For some time, the H-2B visa program has been used by businesses to bring in cheaper foreign workers and has contributed to blue-collar Americans having their wages undercut.

Meanwhile, the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data notes that there are nearly 12 million Americans who are either unemployed, underemployed, or out of the workforce but wanting a job.

About 5.8 million Americans remain unemployed. Those most likely to compete against cheaper foreign workers in blue-collar and entry-level industries — U.S. teenagers and black Americans — continue to have significantly higher unemployment rates than other demographic groups.

For example, of the 5.8 million Americans unemployed, about 754,000 are teenagers with an unemployment rate of 13 percent. Likewise, there are 388,600 black Americans who are unemployed, for an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent which is more than double the white American unemployment rate and more than triple the Asian American unemployment rate.

About 2.7 million of the unemployed population either lost their job or completed a temporary job, while 1.2 million, or 21 percent of the total unemployed, said they have been unemployed for at least 27 weeks.

Similarly, 4.7 million Americans are underemployed, that is U.S. part-time workers who want full-time jobs but are unable to find them. Another 1.4 million Americans are marginally attached to the labor force. These are U.S. workers who are ready and willing to work if they could fine a full-time job.

Of those 1.4 million Americans who are marginally attached to the labor force, 454,000 say they are “discouraged” by their job prospects and do not believe there is work for them in the current labor market.

While millions remain on the sidelines of the workforce, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has suggested that the U.S. is “out of people” in their efforts to lobby Washington, D.C. lawmakers to support an expansion of the country’s legal immigration system.

For weeks, landscaping companies and lawn care businesses complained to DHS officials that there are not enough workers to fill blue collar and entry-level jobs, Breitbart News has been told. Experts, though, have warned that wage hikes that have benefited blue-collar and working-class Americans will not continue should more foreign workers saturate the labor market, decreasing the price of labor while subjecting Americans to increased competition for jobs.

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

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