The Center for Immigration Studies explored Labor Department data and found that native-born Americans across the education spectrum made gains, with those on the lowest educational rungs returning to work the fastest from April to May. Among immigrants, those who had less education also saw job gains — but those who attended college didn’t see any improvements last month.
Steven Camarota, the director of research at CIS who led the study, said he also found the newest immigrants struggling the most to return to work, with an actual rise in unemployment from April to May. He states,
It suggests there isn’t some massive demand for immigrant labor. Obviously, employers will always say there are, but you’d like to find evidence for that in government data, and right now we aren’t seeing it.
The overall native-born unemployment rate ticked down from 14% in April to 12.4% in May. Among immigrants, it dropped by less, from 16.4% to 15.8%. However, Camarota said the coronavirus economy has accelerated a long-term drop in labor force participation. Only 65% of working-age native-born residents were in the labor force in May, down from 71% in 2007 and 74% in 2000.
In addition to the unemployed, there were 48 million working-age (16-64) native-born and 9.9 million working-age immigrants entirely out of the labor force — neither working nor looking for work; an increase of four million for the native-born and a 1.2 million increase for immigrants since February.
The study comes as President Trump ponders the next steps on immigration and foreign workers, perhaps extending his 60-day pause on some new LPRs, or expanding it to include foreign guest worker programs that were left intact after his first executive order.
At the time of his April announcement, President Trump left temporary guest-worker programs intact, though he ordered top aides to review the situation and make recommendations. Those recommendations were completed weeks ago, but the president has yet to announce any decisions, as reported by the Washington Times.
For the full CIS study, please click here.
Updated: Wed, Jul 1st 2020 @ 12:30pm EDT