New report indicates that young native-born workers are being displaced in the labor market by the arrival of new immigrants
Between 2000 and 2005, 4.1 million immigrant workers arrived from abroad, accounting for 86 percent of the net increase in the total number of employed persons (16 and older), the highest share ever recorded in the United States.
Of the 4.1 million new immigrant workers, between 1.4 and 2.7 million are estimated to be illegal immigrants. This means that illegal immigrants accounted for up to 56 percent of the net increase in civilian employment in the United States over the past five years.
Between 2000 and 2005, the number of young (16 to 34) native-born men who were employed declined by 1.7 million; at the same time, the number of new male immigrant workers increased by 1.9 million.
Multivariate statistical analyses show that the probability of teens and young adults (20-24) being employed was negatively affected by the number of new immigrant workers (legal and illegal) in their state.
The negative impacts tended to be larger for younger workers, for in-school youth compared to out-of-school youth, and for native-born black and Hispanic males compared to their white counterparts.
It appears that employers are substituting new immigrant workers for young native-born workers. The estimated sizes of these displacement effects were frequently quite large.
The increased hiring of new immigrant workers also has been accompanied by important changes in the structure of labor markets and employer-employee relationships. Fewer new workers, especially private-sector wage and salary workers, are ending up on the formal payrolls of employers, where they would be covered by unemployment insurance, health insurance, and worker protections.
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