How Immigrants Create Jobs for Everybody Else

[H]iring immigrants even for low-wage jobs helps keep many kinds of jobs in the United States, the authors say. In fact, when immigration is rising as a share of employment in an economic sector, offshoring tends to be falling, and vice versa, the study found.

In other words, immigrants may be competing more with offshored workers than with other laborers in America.

Full New York Times op-ed by Tyler Cowen is here.

Comments (5)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Devon Herrick says:

    Immigrants create opportunities for American workers and boost the economy. However, I do not believe as many Libertarians do that borders should be open to all that want to come. There are around 6 billion people in the world. Most of which are poorer than Americans and most of which are poorly suited to thrive in our complex economy. I once had a professor who taught economic development. He explained that throughout most of the American history, the U.S. suffered from a labor shortage compared to our immense resources. When labor is scarce companies invest in capital, which requires skilled labor that is more productive than non-skilled labor. In other words, American had plentiful farmland, but not enough labor. This facilitated the technologically advanced labor-saving devices that improved productivity of labor. Examples include the McCormick reaper and the plow perfected by John Deere. By contrast India has plenty of cheap labor. Much of the laundry for hotels is done by hand.

  2. Brian Williams. says:

    Government will never get a good handle on the “correct” levels of immigration. Irrational immigration policies have led to more bureaucracy and more onerous regulations on small businesses. Why not let the free market determine the number of immigrants, where they work, and so forth?

    Government can focus on keeping terrorists and criminals out of the country. Other than that, why does the government need to tell me who I can and cannot hire?

  3. Tom H. says:

    I’m sure your right, but on these types of issues it’s the economists against everyone else who doesn’t understand economics. Doesn’t that make it a losing battle?

  4. Vicki says:

    This is a very interesting point. If true, it needs to be more widely known. Immigrants are not competing with domestic workers. They are competing against outsourced workers.

  5. Erik says:

    It’s hard to prove cause and effect in these studies, or to measure all relevant variables precisely, but at the very least, the evidence in this study doesn’t offer much support for the popular bias against immigration, and globalization more generally.

    In other words – PABLUM.