As the unemployment rate in the United States just barely drops below the double-digit mark, more than one million immigrants are still finding jobs.
According to the review done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau, the young, unskilled or semi-unskilled, immigrants are being employed to work in areas like construction, where they are willing to work at lower wages than their American-born counterparts. Other jobs taken are those that unemployed Americans reportedly snub their noses at or lack the skills to do.
Currently the national unemployment rate is 9.4 percent, but President Obama has said job creation is at the top of his to-do list.
Many believe that the report proves that strengthening immigration enforcement is necessary for the benefit of the U.S. economy, while others say the problem lies with those that employ undocumented immigrants rather than legal U.S. residents.
Andrew Sum, the director of the Center for Labor Market Studies, said, “One of the advantages of hiring, particularly young, undocumented immigrants, is the fact that employers do not have to pay health benefits or basic payroll taxes.”
“From 2008 to 2010, 1.1 million new migrants who have entered America since 2008 landed jobs, even as U.S. household employment declined by 6.26 million over that same period,” said Reuters.
On the other hand, employers like Ezequiel Arvizu, say that he has hired “new arrivals” not because the will work for less, but more so because they come to the U.S. more skilled than U.S.-born applicants.
“People often think construction is unskilled but the trades are very skilled and we need cement masons, carpenters, equipment operators,” he told a Reuters’ reporter over the phone.
“We are looking for qualified candidates and it just so happens that some of the candidates ... we select are legal immigrants. It means they have the skills we are looking for, “said Arvizu.