WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies finds a bleak unemployment picture in New Jersey. Yet Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) would like to increase competition for jobs in the state.
As a member of the Gang of Eight, Sen. Menendez is a leader in the effort to legalize illegal immigrants, rather than encouraging them to return home. The gang's stated principles also call for increases in legal immigration. As part the gang's efforts, labor and business leaders are negotiating for a new program to bring in more foreign workers to fill "lesser-skilled" jobs. But government employment data shows that unemployment and non-work are extremely high for American citizens in New Jersey and the nation, particularly for less-educated citizens (those with no more than a high school education), who are the most likely to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs.
"There is a huge pool of potential workers in New Jersey, especially to fill jobs that require modest levels of education. If employers really are having trouble finding workers, then offering higher wages and better working conditions would seem to make a good deal of sense. This could make a real difference in the lives of Americans who generally earn the lowest wages and have the highest unemployment," commented the report's lead author Dr. Steven Camarota, Director of Research.The report can be found at: http://cis.org/bleak-unemployment-picture-in-gang-of-eight-states Among the report's findings:
- The standard unemployment rate for less-educated U.S. citizens in New Jersey was 14.3% in 2012, making it the 2 nd worst state in country. The unemployment rate only includes those who have looked for jobs in the last four weeks.
- The broader measure of unemployment (referred to as U-6), which includes those who want to work, but have not looked recently; shows an unemployment rate of 21.9% for less-educated citizens in New Jersey — 11 th worst in the country.
- In 2012, 40.4% of less-educated citizens (ages 18 to 65) were not working in New Jersey. This includes the unemployed and those entirely out of the labor force.
- The 40.4% figure represents a dramatic deterioration in recent years. As recently as 2007, 33.2% of less-educated citizens (18 to 65) were not working.
- There were a total of 691,000 less-educated citizens (18 to 65) in the state not working in 2012.
- Looking at all citizens of every education level in New Jersey, there were 1.4 million U.S. citizens (18 to 65) not working.
- Although Sen. Menendez and other members of the Gang of Eight seem to believe there is shortage of workers to fill jobs that require modest level of education, the employment data collected by the government does not support this conclusion.