At the end of last month, the Obama administration announced plans to allow even more foreign students to remain in the U.S. after graduation to take American jobs. His reasoning, on display in his State of the Union address and in his response to the wife of an unemployed engineer, is that American workers are not available or are not capable of filling the many jobs available to them.
But the President’s position immigration policy is disconnected from the reality of the labor market, which is especially brutal for young Americans, including recent college graduates, many of whom have substantial student loan debt. If the President wants a “jobs initiative” shouldn’t his primary concern be finding jobs for U.S. residents? Instead, he is encouraging foreign students to attend U.S. universities and promising to facilitate their entry into the U.S. workforce.
A new report released by the Pew Research Center details just how dire the situation is for young adults (18 to 34 years old) trying to find work.
Among Pew’s other findings:
• Only 54 percent of young Americans are employed, the lowest share since the federal government began tracking this figure in 1948.
• The median weekly income for young adults (18-34) has dropped 6 percent since 2007, “as employers found it easier to restrict the wages for entry-level jobs than to cut the pay of more experienced workers.”
• 19 percent of men ages 25-34 are not working or attending school, up five percentage points from 2007.
• Only 43 percent of young adults are confident that they could find another job if they lost or left their current one.
According to Kim Parker of the Pew Research Center, young adults in America “have a long way to climb back, and a lot of displaced workers to compete with.” What is President Obama’s response to the plight of young American workers? Bring in more foreign workers.