THAT MEANS UNEMPLOYMENT IS NOW 9%, COURTESY OF OBAMA.
With potentially as many as 800,000 new workers flooding into the system, what happens to the millions of Americans who can’t find work now? The Washington Post wonders the same thing, and more:
President Obama has just opened a floodgate of opportunity for young illegal immigrants in the United States, but could it squeeze the aspirations of legal Americans in the process? …Under the new policy, as many as 1.4 million undocumented immigrants under age 30 will be able to apply for the amnesty, allowing them to work and attend college legally. To be eligible, they must have been in the United States for five years, have no criminal record, and attend high school or college or be a military veteran.The policy does not provide permanent legal residency, but it protects those who qualify from being deported and gives them a chance to renew their new status every two years. It also does not grant any public benefits, such as Medicare and Medicaid. Federal law already grants all undocumented immigrants the right to a public-school education and emergency hospital care.The new policy could entail additional costs for administration and enforcement, however, and put pressure on state systems of higher education to meet growing demand for slots.
A move like this might have made sense in 2005-6, when the civilian participation rate in the workforce was near its all-time high (around 66.2% at that time), with unemployment in the 5% range, and labor so tight that hourly wages on entry level positions were constantly rising. American businesses would have welcomed a larger pool of legal workers and the competition wouldn’t have put others out of work or forced them to work for significantly less money. People would have opposed it for other reasons, but economically speaking, it wouldn’t have had a tremendously negative impact, at least not in the short term.
But now? We’re not creating enough jobs to keep up with population growth as it is. With this new policy in place, Obama will introduce hundreds of thousands of suddenly-eligible workers into an economy with an 8.2% nominal unemployment rate, a 14.8% U-6 un/underemployed rate, with a civilian participation rate that has plummeted from 65.7% at the start of the Obama recovery in June 2009 (the same as it was when he took office, too) to 63.8%, lower than it was when Reagan faced his first midterm election. Those who are already struggling to find jobs are not only going to face more competition for those slots, the glut of labor will depress entry-level wages even further.EXACTLY.