Many commentators and media reports have called for more immigration to make up for the slowdown in new arrivals that occurred during the pandemic. Immigrant workers are supposedly “missing” from the job market, creating a labor “shortage”.
In reality, the latest data shows that the number of immigrant workers is well above pre-pandemic levels. To the extent that workers are “missing,” it is due to the decades long decline in the labor force participation rate — the share working or looking for work — of the U.S.-born. The decline is especially pronounced among less-educated men. This situation deprives the economy of workers and contributes to a host of social problems.
Topics: Wages, Jobs, and Poverty