WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Eight U.S. Senators from seven states – Rubio (R-FL), McCain (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Flake (R-AZ), Schumer (D-NY), Menendez (D-NJ), Bennet (D-CO), and Durbin (D-IL) – have proposed an immigration plan allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country and increasing legal immigration in the future. A number of the Gang of Eight (Gof8) senators have made clear that they feel that there is a labor shortage, especially of workers to fill low-skilled jobs. (See their comments below).
As part of the Gof8 efforts, labor and business leaders are negotiating a new program to bring in more immigrants to fill "lesser-skilled" jobs. However, as shown by the Center for Immigration Studies' new analysis, employment data does not support the idea that there is a shortage of low-skilled labor. In fact, unemployment and non-work are more pronounced for less-educated U.S. citizens in the states represented by the Gof8 than in the nation as a whole.
"It is ironic that legislators from states with some of the highest unemployment rates are focused on making it easier for illegal immigrants to find work and on bringing in more workers. They seem unaware of the extraordinarily high unemployment figures among less-educated U.S. citizens," comments the report's lead author Dr. Steve Camarota, the Center's Director of Research.The complete study can be found online at: http://cis.org/bleak-unemployment-picture-in-gang-of-eight-states
Among the report's findings:
- In the seven states represented by the Gang of Eight (Gof8), the unemployment rate for U.S. citizens with no more than a high school education averaged 12.6% in 2012. This is higher than the 10.2% average for less-educated citizens in the other 43 states.
- The broader measure of unemployment (referred to as U-6), which includes those who want to work but have not looked recently, shows unemployment averaged 21.7% for less-educated citizens in the Gof8 states for 2012. This is markedly higher than the 18.3% average in the other 43 states.
- In the Gof8 states, U-6 unemployment was among the highest for citizens with no more than a high school education in 2012:
- 24.4% in Arizona, 4 th highest in the country
- 22.1% in South Carolina, 8 th highest in the country
- 22.0% in Illinois, 9 th highest in the country
- 21.9% in New Jersey, 11 th highest in the country
- 20.6% in Florida, 15 th highest in the country
- 20.5% in New York, 18 th highest in the country
- 20.1% in Colorado, 19 th highest in the country
- Looking at all less-educated citizens (ages 18 to 65) shows 41.8% did not have job in 2012 in the Gof8 states, compared to an average of 37.9% in the other 43 states. This includes the unemployed and those entirely out of the labor market.
- In 2012, there were 6.5 million less-educated citizens (age 18 to 65) not working in the Gof8 states. Nationally, a total of 27.7 million less-educated citizens were not working.