Since 2000, All Employment Growth Has Gone to Immigrants

Article subtitle: 
S.744, Passed 1 Year Ago, Would Have Doubled Immigration
Article author: 
Karen Zeigler and Steven A. Camarota
Article publisher: 
The Center for Immigration Studies
Article date: 
28 June 2014
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

On June 27, 2013, the Senate passed the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill (S.744) which, among other things, doubled the levels of legal immigration and guestworkers. One year after that vote, a new Center for Immigration Studies report suggests just how out of touch the bill was from the realities of the labor market.
Since the year 2000 all of the net increase in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal), according to the report. This is a remarkable statistic given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population.
Although there has been some recovery from the Great Recession, fewer working-age natives held a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job rose 5.7 million above the 2000 level ...

Congressional Budget Office projections indicate that if the Schumer-Rubio bill (S.744) becomes law, the number of new legal immigrants allowed into the country will roughly double to 20 million over the next decade, adding to the 40 million immigrants (legal and illegal) already here ...

This increase is in addition to the legalization of illegal immigrants already in the country ...

  • Over the entire 14-year period from 2000 to 2014, the working-age population grew by 25.7 million (about 14 percent), while employment grew only about 4 percent...
  • In terms of the top-five occupations for immigrant (legal and illegal) employment growth 2003-2014, two might be considered traditionally immigrant and lower-skilled: building cleaning and maintenance and construction and extraction ...
  • More important, immigrants have recovered more quickly from the recession than natives. The employment rate for working-age natives has increased only 0.9 percentage points from the bottom of the recession in the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter 2014, but it has improved 2.4 percentage points for immigrants ...