Mass Immigration Eats Away at Wages
The latest glowing U.S. jobs report was tarnished by more depressing news on wages. They continue to flat-line.One reason for the phenomenon of low unemployment and low wage growth is the corrosive effects of mass immigration.In case you hadn’t noticed, wages in America have been stagnating since the early 1970s. Not coincidentally, U.S. immigration policy was liberalized during this period, bringing a record 59 million newcomers into this country (plus untold millions of illegal aliens).The era of mass immigration also coincided with other factors that have served to undermine U.S. workers, such as globalization and automation.With the nation’s jobless rate at its lowest level in nearly 18 years, and employers complaining that workers are hard to find, U.S. wages continue to defy the law of supply and demand.While mass immigration may not be solely to blame for the job-wage disconnect, it is the single most controllable factor suppressing wage growth. We have very limited control over matters of globalization and the increasing use of automation and artificial intelligence. We do have enormous control over how many new workers we admit or allow to enter our country, if we choose to exercise it.Constituting a near-record 14 percent of the U.S. population, immigrants “grow the economy” with their presence, but the economic benefits are not shared by workers whose paychecks lose ground to inflation.From high-tech companies to the service industry, U.S. employers demand evermore immigrant labor. H-1B (skilled) and H-2B (lower-skilled) visas are used to hire millions of foreigners and suppress wages. The Trump administration, with congressional approval, has signaled its intent to raise the annual quotas yet again.Recent research shows workers already are available for many jobs.“If such workers really were in short supply, wages should be rising rapidly as employers struggle to recruit new workers or retain the ones they have. In economics, the price of anything — steel, wheat or workers — rises if demand outstrips supply. The price of workers is primarily wages,” notes Steven Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies.Salary data that continue to show little or no wage gains – or even outright declines – suggest mass immigration is a key factor driving the “structural” economic changes vaguely alluded to in media reports. They just won’t tell you that.Between now and 2065, immigrants are projected to account for a whopping 88 percent of the U.S. population increase, or 103 million people, as the nation grows to 441 million. Any wagers on how that growth will trickle down to your children’s paychecks?