September 22, 2006

YEAH, BUT THEY'RE MEXICANS:

The Case for Immigration (DIANA FURCHTGOTT-ROTH, September 22, 2006, NY Sun)

Annual immigration is a tiny fraction of our labor force. The Pew Hispanic Center Report shows that annual immigration from all countries as a percent of the labor force has been declining since its recent peak in 1999.

Annual immigration in 1999 equaled 1% of the labor force — by 2005 it had declined to 0.8%. Hispanics, including undocumented workers, peaked in 2000 as a percent of the labor force at 0.5%, and by 2004 accounted for only 0.4% (0.3% for Mexicans) of the labor force.

Looking at unskilled workers, Hispanic immigration as a percent of the American unskilled labor force (defined as those without a high school diploma) peaked in 2000 at 6%, and was 5% in 2004 (4% for Mexicans). Five percent is not "floods of immigrants."

Mr. Malanga writes that America does not have a vast labor shortage because "unemployment among unskilled workers is high — about 30%." It isn't. In 2005, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the unemployment rate for adults without a high school diploma was 7.6%. Last month it stood at 6.9%.

Data from a recent study by senior economist Pia Orrenius of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank show that foreign-born Americans are more likely to work than native-born Americans. Leaving their countries by choice, they are naturally more risk-taking and entrepreneurial.

In 2005 the unemployment rate for native-born Americans was 5.2%, but for foreign-born it was more than half a percentage point lower, at 4.6%. For unskilled workers, although the total unemployment rate was 7.6%, the native-born rate was 9.1% and the foreign-born was much lower, at 5.7%.

According to Mr. Malanga, unskilled immigrants "work in shrinking industries where they force out native workers." However, data show otherwise. Low-skilled immigrants are disproportionately represented in the expanding service and construction sectors, with occupations such as janitors, gardeners, tailors, plasterers, and stucco masons. Manufacturing, the declining sector, employs few immigrants.

One myth repeated often is that immigrants depress wages of native-born Americans. As Professor Giovanni Peri of the University of California at Davis describes in a new National Bureau of Economic Analysis paper last month, immigrants are complements, rather than substitutes, for native-born workers. As such, they are not competing with native-born workers, but providing our economy with different skills.


The simple reality is that we need and can easily absorb far more.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 22, 2006 12:00 AM
Comments

Our economy can absorb much more than our culture. With Public Schools promoting Balkanization, Indentity Politics and the eventual separatism these cultural toxins lead to, the idea that this large influx won't negatively impact "the American Ideal" is a pipedream.

The fact is that any immigration that we assimilate is a positive, and that which we don't/can't assimilate is a negative.

If immigration is to continue, it needs to be controled (not in quantitative, but qualitative terms)

To assume this will happen "naturally" in an environment of massive welfare state outlays and a culturally toxic education system is Pollyannish.

Give the ones who want to become citizens a crash course, and kick the rest out.

Posted by: Bruno at September 22, 2006 9:51 AM

Ideally their culture will absorb ours.

Posted by: oj at September 22, 2006 9:58 AM

How about absorbing more legals and fewer illegals?

Posted by: GER at September 22, 2006 10:42 AM

Yes, they should all be legal.

Posted by: oj at September 22, 2006 10:49 AM

OJ,

Define "their" culture and ours.

Posted by: Bruno at September 22, 2006 12:39 PM

"Data from a recent study by senior economist Pia Orrenius of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank show that foreign-born Americans are more likely to work than native-born Americans. Leaving their countries by choice, they are naturally more risk-taking and entrepreneurial.

In 2005 the unemployment rate for native-born Americans was 5.2%, but for foreign-born it was more than half a percentage point lower, at 4.6%. For unskilled workers, although the total unemployment rate was 7.6%, the native-born rate was 9.1% and the foreign-born was much lower, at 5.7%."

Posted by: oj at September 22, 2006 12:52 PM

The unemployment rate is a culture onto itself?

Posted by: erp at September 22, 2006 4:53 PM
« DEMOCRATIC DISENFRANCHISEMENT FILES: | Main | THE ONE PARTY STATE: »