Recent employment figures show that California's day labor population is dropping due to a decrease in the number of construction jobs caused by America's recent economic downturn. UCLA Professor Abel Valenzuela says that it is likely that only 10% to 15% of California's day laborers are able to find work each day -- down from 40% only a few years ago. "Things are really drying up," Valenzuela said, "[one alternative is], clearly, to leave the United States and head back."
However, it is likely that California's economic downturn is not the sole reason for the decrease in the number of day laborers. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has become more vigilant in tracking down illegal workers (particularly those who resort to fraud to attain employment) and the Border Control's numbers are growing, as are the miles of security fencing at the U.S. - Mexico border.
It is clear that the ICE's policy of attrition might be paying dividends: arrests at the U.S. - Mexico border are down 17% compared to this time last year, despite increased Border Patrol activity. It is plausible to assume that illegal aliens are not entering as fast as they have been in recent years due to the economic downturn and the U.S. government's increased vigilance. In fact, a recent report by the Center for Immigration Studies comes to a similar conclusion.
Even with this decrease in the number of illegal day laborers, California's unemployed rate has vaulted to 7.3%, an increase of nearly two percentage points over July of last year.
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Updated: Fri, Jul 21st 2017 @ 10:59am EDT