No Labor Shortage: 11.5M Jobless, Underemployed Americans Available for Full-Time Work

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

There remain about 11.5 million Americans who are out of work, sitting on the labor market sidelines, all of whom want full-time, high-wage jobs without being forced to compete against a growing number of cheaper, foreign workers.

The latest employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds there is still slack in the labor market and thus businesses can pull disenfranchised Americans back into work through higher wages, better working conditions, and competitive benefits packages.

While Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Chad Wolf approved American businesses to import an additional 35,000 H-2B foreign visa workers to take nonagricultural U.S. jobs, there are still about 11.5 million Americans who are unemployed and underemployed.

This includes about 5.8 million Americans who are unemployed — 11 percent of which are unemployed teenagers and 5.8 percent of which are unemployed black Americans. This also includes about 1.1 million long-term unemployed Americans who have been jobless for at least 27 weeks.

Additionally, there are 1.4 million Americans who are considered “marginally attached to the labor force” because they had looked for work in the past 12 months but not in the four weeks prior to the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey. These Americans include about 405,000 “discouraged workers” who looked for work but were discouraged by their job prospects.

Similarly, there are about 4.3 million Americans who are underemployed, forced to work part-time jobs because they could not find full-time employment. All of these underemployed Americans, though, want full-time jobs.

Last month, White House Chief of Staff reportedly said the U.S. is “desperate … for more people.”

“We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth that we’ve had in our nation over the last four years. We need more immigrants,” Mick Mulvaney apparently said.

Extensive research by economists like George Borjas and analyst Steven Camarota has found that the country’s current legal immigration system — wherein 1.2 million mostly low-skilled workers are admitted annually — burdens U.S. taxpayers and America’s working and middle class while redistributing about $500 billion in wealth every year to major employers and newly arrived immigrants.

Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, has found that every one percent increase in the immigrant composition of American workers’ occupations reduces their weekly wages by about 0.5 percent. This means the average native-born American worker today has his weekly wages reduced by perhaps 8.5 percent because of current legal immigration levels.

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


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