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Share of immigrants in US labor force hits 27-year high

May 22

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The share of immigrants in the labor force hit a 27-year-high in 2022. People born outside of the U.S. made up 18.1% of the overall labor force, up from 17.4% in 2021.

According to the Labor Department, the number of immigrants entering the labor force or looking for jobs rose to 29.8 million, a 6.3% increase from 2021. The increase comes despite the COVID-19 pandemic and Title 42, which allowed Border Patrol to turn back hundreds of thousands of migrants without allowing them to apply for political asylum or seek relief from within the U.S.

According to the annual report, there were roughly 164 million workers aged 16 or older in 2022. And more foreign-born people joined the labor force than native-born Americans.That accounts for more than half of the 3.1 million in overall gain last year.

Sluggish population growth in the U.S. and accelerated retirements during the pandemic created labor shortages in many industries. This increased job opportunities for foreign-born workers in industries dependent on in-person workers, such as construction and restaurant workers, truck drivers and home-health aides.

The Labor Department’s annual report on foreign-born workers does not break down those workers by country of origin, or legal status.

Meanwhile, migrants bound for the U.S. from around the world are still arriving at Mexico’s southern border undeterred. Huge numbers of U.S.-bound migrants, mostly from South and Central America, are making illegal crossings along the 500-mile border between Mexico and Guatemala. But officials in Washington say the number of illicit crossings has declined since the end of Title 42. 

The Biden administration has been under intense political pressure to ease the flow of illicit migration at the border.

The administration says those crossing illegally will be ineligible for asylum and subject to deportation or prison. But U.S. leaders and lawmakers are asking for more from the federal government. Especially when it comes to the care of migrants already in the United States.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is an outspoken critic of the administration’s handling of the border. Adams is calling on the federal government to coordinate spreading migrants around the country. He says New York City is unfairly carrying the weight of the crisis.

“We have 108,000 cities, villages, towns. If everyone takes a small portion of that, and if it’s coordinated at the border, to ensure that those who are coming here to this country in a lawful manner is actually moved throughout the entire country, it is not a burden on one city,” Adams said on “Face the Nation” May 21.

Adams said that 70,000 migrants have come to New York City in recent months and 42,000 are still under the care of the city. He said the $30 million in federal aid, allocated earlier this month, comes nowhere near what the city is paying for a “national problem.”

The city had asked for $350 million in federal aid. Adams said it has already spent over a billion.

Adams, a Democrat, made his first trip to the border as mayor in January, months after he issued an emergency declaration over migrant arrivals in New York. 

Adams announced earlier in May that he would send migrants to upstate New York but was met with pushback from area officials.

He also announced that some migrants in New York would be temporarily housed in some 20 school gymnasiums. But that too was met with backlash.

Now, Mayor Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul are calling for expedited work authorization for the asylum-seekers coming into New York City. They said denying migrants the chance to legally work sets them up for failure.

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GROWTH OF THE IMMIGRANT LABOR FORCE HIT A 27-YEAR-HIGH IN 2022. 

PEOPLE BORN OUTSIDE OF THE U.S. MADE UP 18-POINT-ONE PERCENT OF THE OVERALL LABOR FORCE. 

THAT IS UP FROM 17-POINT-4 PERCENT IN 2021.

 

ACCORDING TO THE LABOR DEPARTMENT, THE NUMBER OF IMMIGRANTS ENTERING THE LABOR FORCE OR LOOKING FOR JOBS ROSE TO 29-POINT-8 MILLION. 

THAT’S A 6-POINT-3-PERCENT INCREASE. 

THAT’S DESPITE THE PANDEMIC AND TITLE 42 – 

WHICH ALLOWED BORDER PATROL TO TURN BACK HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF MIGRANTS WITHOUT ALLOWING THEM TO APPLY FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM OR SEEK RELIEF FROM WITHIN THE U.S.

 

ACCORDING TO THEIR ANNUAL REPORT, THERE WERE ROUGHLY 164 MILLION WORKERS AGED 16 OR OLDER IN 2022. AND MORE FOREIGN-BORN PEOPLE JOINED THE LABOR FORCE THAN NATIVE-BORN AMERICANS.

 

THAT ACCOUNTS FOR MORE THAN HALF OF THE 3.1 MILLION IN OVERALL GAIN LAST YEAR. SLUGGISH POPULATION GROWTH IN THE U.S. AND ACCELERATED RETIREMENTS DURING THE PANDEMIC CREATED LABOR SHORTAGES IN MANY INDUSTRIES. 

 

THIS INCREASED JOB OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOREIGN-BORN WORKERS IN INDUSTRIES DEPENDENT ON IN-PERSON WORKERS, SUCH AS CONSTRUCTION AND RESTAURANT WORKERS, TRUCK DRIVERS AND HOME-HEALTH AIDES.

 

THE LABOR DEPARTMENT’S ANNUAL REPORT ON FOREIGN BORN WORKERS DOES NOT BREAK DOWN THOSE WORKERS BY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN, OR LEGAL STATUS.

 

MEANWHILE – U.S.-BOUND MIGRANTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD ARE STILL ARRIVING AT MEXICO’S SOUTHERN BORDER. 

AFTER TITLE 42 EXPIRED ON MAY 11 UNDETERRED.

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, CALLING THE SCENE “CHAOTIC”, AS HUGE NUMBERS OF U.S.-BOUND MIGRANTS, MOSTLY FROM SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA, ARE MAKING ILLEGAL CROSSINGS ALONG THE 500-MILE BORDER BETWEEN MEXICO AND GUATEMALA.

BUT OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON SAY THE NUMBER OF ILLICIT CROSSINGS HAS DECLINED SINCE THE END OF TITLE 42. 

 

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN UNDER INTENSE POLITICAL PRESSURE TO EASE THE FLOW OF ILLICIT MIGRATION AT THE BORDER. 

THEY SAY THOSE PEOPLE CROSSING ILLEGALLY WILL BE INELIGIBLE FOR ASYLUM AND SUBJECT TO DEPORTATION OR PRISON. 

BUT U.S. LEADERS AND LAWMAKERS ARE ASKING FOR MORE FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. 

ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE CARE OF MIGRANTS ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES.

 

NEW YORK CITY MAYOR ERIC ADAMS IS AN OUTSPOKEN CRITIC OF THE ADMINISTRATION’S HANDLING OF THE BORDER.

MAYOR ADAMS IS CALLING ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO COORDINATE SPREADING MIGRANTS AROUND THE COUNTRY. 

HE SAYS NEW YORK CITY IS UNFAIRLY CARRYING THE WEIGHT OF THE CRISIS.

 

SOT MAYOR ADAMS: “We have 108,000 cities towns and villages, If everyone takes a small portion of that, and if it’s coordinated at the border, to ensure that those who are coming here to this country in a lawful manner is actually moved throughout the entire country, it is not a burden on one city.”

 

SUNDAY – ON CBS’S FACE THE NATION – MAYOR ADAMS SAID 70-THOUSAND MIGRANTS HAVE COME TO NEW YORK CITY IN RECENT MONTHS AND 42 THOUSAND ARE STILL IN CITY CARE. 

THE 30-MILLION DOLLARS IN FEDERAL AID ALLOCATED EARLIER THIS MONTH “COMES NOWHERE NEAR WHAT THE CITY IS PAYING FOR A NATIONAL PROBLEM.” 

THE CITY HAD ASKED FOR 350-MILLION IN. FEDERAL AID. 

ADAMS SAID THEY’VE ALREADY SPENT OVER A BILLION.

 

ADAMS, A DEMOCRAT, MADE HIS FIRST TRIP TO THE BORDER AS MAYOR IN JANUARY, MONTHS AFTER HE ISSUED AN EMERGENCY DECLARATION OVER MIGRANT ARRIVALS IN NEW YORK. 

 

HE ANNOUNCED EARLIER THIS MONTH THAT HE WOULD SEND MIGRANTS TO UPSTATE NEW YORK BUT WAS MET WITH PUSHBACK FROM AREA OFFICIALS.

HE ALSO ANNOUNCED THAT SOME MIGRANTS IN NEW YORK WOULD BE TEMPORARILY HOUSED IN SOME 20 SCHOOL GYMNASIUMS…THAT TOO WAS MET WITH BACKLASH.

 

NOW MAYOR ADAMS AND GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL ARE CALLING FOR EXPEDITED WORK AUTHORIZATION FOR THE ASYLUM SEEKERS COMING INTO NEW YORK CITY. THEY SAY DENYING MIGRANTS THE CHANCE TO LEGALLY WORK SETS THEM UP FOR FAILURE.

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