Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Lower-wage workers harmed by immigration, Congressional Budget Office report finds

Associated Press
Immigration helps the U.S. economy, but it’s not as good for individual workers, particularly those at the low end of the wage scale for whom the increased competition for jobs leaves them worse off, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report this week.
The findings both support and challenge conventional wisdom on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers from both parties generally view immigration as a net benefit. The CBO said that’s true for the overall economy, but not for those in low-skilled jobs.
“Among people with less education, a large percentage are foreign born. Consequently, immigration has exerted downward pressure on the wages of relatively low-skilled workers who are already in the country, regardless of their birthplace,” the CBO said.
And there are many new immigrant workers to compete with.
Immigrants account for about half of all newcomers to the workforce each year, the CBO said, which fuels economic growth.
The analysis was done for the House Budget Committee.
It comes at a time when immigration is effectively off the table as an issue for lawmakers, with deep differences between President Trump, who wants to see stricter limits and enforcement, and Democrats, who want to see undocumented immigrants granted citizenship rights and who oppose attempts to limit family-based immigration, which is a key source for low-educated and non-skilled workers.
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