Monday, January 5, 2015
The Atlantic has a provocative new article: Does Immigration Harm Working Americans? The subtitle: "Many economists say no—but they may be too glib."
The article, authored by senior editor David Frum, draws from data published by the conservative think tank Center for Immigration Studies. The CIS data, Frum states, shows that
1.5 million fewer native-born Americans are working than in November 2007, the peak of the prior economic cycle. Balancing the 1.5 million fewer native-born Americans at work, there are 2 million more immigrants—legal and illegal—working in the United States today than in November 2007. All the net new jobs created since November 2007 have gone to immigrants. Meanwhile, millions of native-born Americans, especially men, have abandoned the job market altogether. The percentage of men aged 25 to 54 who are working or looking for work has dropped to the lowest point in recorded history.
Frum goes on to question the assumptions underlying economic models that would counter this data to say immigrants do not take jobs of American-born citizens. In particular, he challenges the idea of complentarity, which views immigrant labor as complementing (not competing with) native-born labor.
It's an interesting read for anyone drawn to the financial side of immigration.