Job Turnaround Hopes Realistic?
By Joe Guzzardi
The October Bureau of Labor Statistics report showed that the economy boomed forward with a higher than anticipated 531,000 new jobs, a good sign for workers across the board. Wall Street analysts had predicted that 450,000 jobs would be added.
Private payrolls jumped 604,000 while the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent from 4.8 percent. BLS also revised up the total jobs for August and September by 235,000 in part because it recalculated seasonal factors. The economy registered its strongest growth in the leisure and hospitality sectors, 164,000, followed by manufacturing, 60,000, then transportation, 54,000, construction, 44,000, and healthcare, 37,000.
No doubt the labor market and Biden administration benefited from the coronavirus case decline, and employers’ renewed push to hire. Also contributing to the surprisingly strong October report was the post-Labor Day pandemic unemployment programs’ expiration that included the $300 federal bonus and extended eligibility from the traditional 26 weeks to 79 weeks.
In October, some demographic sectors benefited greatly, specifically female workers. Women represent about 57 percent of October’s job gains, 370,000, a dramatic shift from September when men gained all of that month’s new jobs, but more than 300,000 women left the labor force.
More female workers could soon be re-entering the labor pool. Jasmine Tucker, the National Women’s Law Center director, said that women are enjoying a “turnaround.” Tucker points to a return to in-person learning, and an hourly wage increase for hospitality and leisure workers from $17.12 per hour in October 2020 to $19.04 per hour only one year later. But, a hitch: Tucker estimates that, assuming October’s vigorous pace continues, it would take about eight months for the economy to gain back the nearly five million jobs lost during the pandemic.
Several demographic groups suffered an unemployment spike between September and October, including white women who went from 3.7 percent to 3.9 percent; Asian women, 3.4 percent to 4.4 percent, and Hispanics, 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent. Nearly one woman in every three, or 32.6 percent, who were unemployed in October had been out of work for six months or longer.
On behalf of women who successfully landed jobs in October, and want to keep their positions as well as in the best interests of women still seeking employment, the NWLC should immediately demand that the Biden administration stop handing out employment permits indiscriminately to border crashers, and to other illegal immigrants who have reached the interior. An estimated 160,000 illegal aliensnow in the interior have received parole, an immigration status that includes work permission. Most are low-skilled, and will compete head-to-head with workers, women and otherwise, in leisure and other occupations that don’t require more than a high-school degree.
American minorities, those seeking jobs and those already employed are especially vulnerable to an immigration-driven expanded, cheap labor pool. Numerous academic studies, including many done by liberal-leaning, pro-immigration analysts, found conclusively that immigrant labor, when readily available, depresses U.S. wages.
No analyst fits the “liberal-leaning, pro-immigrant” label better than New York Timesop-ed columnist and Graduate Center of the City University of New York economics professor Paul Krugman. Showing a mastery of Econ 101 and other economic principals he learned while earning MA and PhD degrees at MIT, Krugman wrote: “Immigration reduces the wages of domestic workers who compete with immigrants. That’s just supply and demand: we’re talking about large increases in the number of low-skill workers relative to other inputs into production, so it’s inevitable that this means a fall in wages.”
Since Krugman’s conclusion is inarguable, advocacy organizations like the NWLC, founded in the 1970s, comprised of lawyers and activists who seek justice for their constituency, need to step up immediately to oppose the Biden administration’s employment authorization giveaway. The border invasion shows no sign of slowing. Detentions and arrests at America’s Southwest border hit an all-time high in 2021. More than 1.7 million migrants were detained at the border, a significant percentage of which will eventually become work authorized, and expand the labor market – terrible news for U.S. workers.
Biden could reverse the open borders course he’s chosen to pursue. But he prefers to welcome the world, give corporate employers a helping hand, and keep Americans struggling to recover from the job-killer pandemic. Future BLS reports may indicate a strong economy, but the important variable is that new jobs go to citizens and lawfully present residents, not aliens who knowingly violated U.S. laws.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Job Turnaround Hopes Realistic?