Breaking: Fewer Total People Means Fewer Total Workers

By Jason Richwine on August 10, 2017

According to CNN, a University of Pennsylvania economic model projects the RAISE Act would lead to "4.6 million lost jobs by the year 2040." What the CNN reporters mean by "jobs," however, is "workers." There will be 4.6 million fewer workers in the U.S. under the RAISE Act because there will be roughly 10 million fewer immigrants! All this result says is that a smaller population will have a smaller number of workers than a larger population. It says nothing about the economic impact on Americans.

In fact, the report itself hints that Americans will have more job opportunities: "The RAISE Act also reduces employment because the domestic worker participation rate won’t increase enough to fill the jobs that would have been held by immigrants who are no longer allowed in the country." That suggests not only that Americans will work more under the RAISE Act, but also that the "lost jobs" will be lost not by Americans, but by the immigrants who would not arrive.

It is impossible to comment further on the study without knowing the model’s full parameters, but it is long past time that the media begin to understand the difference between gains to the total economy versus gains to natives.