Irish Workers in the Big Apple: American Kids (Apparently) Need Not Apply

By Jerry Kammer and Jerry Kammer on June 11, 2012

When I was working on our report "Cheap Labor as Cultural Exchange", about the State Department program that brings more than 100,000 foreign college students to the United States every year for temporary jobs and includes financial incentives for American employers not to hire American workers, I frequently heard complaints that employers couldn't find American kids to do the jobs. That's why — or so the story goes — they have to rely on the foreign kids who come with J-1 visas as part of the Summer Work Travel program.

Now that may be true for a remote location in coastal Maine. But are we supposed to believe that employers in New York City, where youth unemployment is rampant, can't find American kids?

Well, IrishCentral, a website based in New York is reporting that Irish SWT kids are plentiful in the Big Apple. It observes that "evidence of J-1 students arriving for the summer is everywhere. Job applications at local bars and construction sites are on the up and the GAA [the association that administers Gaelic football competition] teams in the Bronx are stocked for the season."