Biden’s Jobless Claim Leaves American Workers Out in the Cold
Applauding the lowest U.S. unemployment rate in 50 years, President Joe Biden said this month, “It’s a good time to be a worker in America.” Is it? Like most political pronouncements and media reports that parrot them, such sweeping claims crumble in the face countervailing data and reality.
While immigration boosters like the president fixate on misleading jobless rates, the number of working-age Americans out of the labor force is at historic highs. Pinched by record influxes of low-paid migrant competition and galloping inflation, legions of former workers aren’t nearly so enthralled about their prospects.
Take South Carolina, for example. November employment statistics showed 43.6 percent of the state’s eligible labor force was either unemployed or not actively looking for work. Even with a record low 3.3 percent unemployment rate, the Palmetto State had more than 100,000 jobs available.
So why are there so few takers for those positions? A statewide survey of sidelined South Carolinians said the No. 1 reason was a lack of good paying jobs.
The U.S. labor participation rate stands at 62 percent, which Biden failed to mention, was also the lowest in a half-century. He also omitted the fact that the number of Americans either working or looking for work had declined for three straight months.
“There is no disputing the data: Wages for working-class Americans are not keeping up with inflation,” says Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies. A primary driver of lower pay is the Democratic Party’s mass immigration agenda, which is enthusiastically supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a host of other self-serving business interests.
“The Biden administration is encouraging mass immigration of people, many of whom can’t legally work and will pay little in taxes. Increasing the supply of labor lowers wages for everyone even if they are given work permits,” Camarota states.
Those work permits are especially pernicious as they circumvent the government’s E-Verify program. Though eight states (soon to be nine?) require employers to use the job-screening system, even a nationwide requirement (don’t hold your breath) would be effectively nullified as long as illegal aliens are authorized to compete with Americans in the job market.
Getting more Americans back into the labor pool is crucial, but as Camarota notes, “It will involve the difficult task of reforming our welfare and disability system and addressing the opioid and mental-health crises, and other issues, that have contributed to the decline in work.
“If the labor-force participation rate of working-age Americans ages 16 to 64 returned to what it was in 2000 — not exactly an eternity ago — it would add 6.5 million people to the labor force.”
Ushering in more than 5.5 million mostly low-skilled migrants – as Biden has done since entering the White House – won’t produce a better or more prosperous America.