Are You Prepared For a Jobs Depression?

Most fear to even to use the word “depression,” but now is the time for corporate HR to begin thinking about such an eventuality. As most people know, there are two key economic drivers that impact our economy: 1) productivity (product and service output) and 2) employment.

The government has done a great deal recently to boost the productivity (output) of the economy through its trillion-dollar bailout and coordination of merger activity, but freeing up credit and keeping well-known firms alive have not halted job losses in many industries, including those in the housing, mortgage, and financial sectors.

Both government and corporate leaders have under-emphasized the role of the job market in the economic downturn to the point that in my opinion, the time has come that we must consider the real possibility that the job market will move from a recession into a depression.

I define a “jobs depression” as an unemployment or underemployment of 10% or higher.

Factors Impacting a Move Into a Jobs Depression

Most of the factors that have resulted in our increasing unemployment rate are well known. They include decreased sales and profit in major industries like housing, and large-scale layoffs in the financial services sector. Unfortunately, other negative factors that you might not be aware of will continue to drive the unemployment rate toward double digits. Despite record holiday sales at, most retailers reported results that were the worst since 2001. As a result, you can expect that many retailers will embrace large-scale layoffs, outlet closures, and delayed capital expansion plans as they work to shore up cash flow issues.

You can also expect a second round of mortgage failures as more and more homeowners walk away from homes so severely underwater financially that they actually make money by declaring bankruptcy despite interest rates being at an all-time low. Further complicating the economy are more local issues, namely significant reductions in tax revenues that will pressure many state and local governments into hiring freezes and layoffs.

At the global level, the strengthened dollar and economic instability in many global economies will likely slow growth in those markets, further cutting demand for U.S. exports. While domestic and foreign demand drop, the workforce will actually grow, fueled by aging boomers foregoing retirement and relaxed immigration rules. Despite increasing demand, you can expect that even the healthcare and high-tech sectors will be hunkering down.

What Makes This Unemployment Rate Surge Different?

Unlike previous periods of high unemployment, this time around there will be an abundance of people who want to work but who simply put just do not have the skills required for the jobs that are open. For example, traditional government work projects like the one planned by incoming President Obama have traditionally been used to offset manufacturing and construction layoffs, putting “pick and shovel” jobs in the hands of unskilled workers; however, even such low-level jobs have seen rampant innovation in recent years that has consequently raised the bar with regards to entry-level skills needed. This will make it difficult to place a large number of unemployed individuals from other industries in public work projects.

The next problem area that continues to be ignored is our retraining capacity. This time around, you can expect large-scale cutbacks at universities and educational institutions, which in the past have had the capacity to retrain the unemployed. With corporate grants, financial aid programs, and tax revenues drying up, many unemployed will find universities and even trade schools out of reach. The result will be the reduction or elimination of most retraining opportunities, so that when new jobs actually do open up, few will have the required advanced skills that will be required to actually do the job.

In addition, because there has been no decrease in worldwide competition and pressure to innovate, this time around the skill sets of the unemployed will also deteriorate so rapidly that few of them would even qualify for the jobs that they were laid off from only a year or two ago. The net result is that any “new jobs” are likely to go to states or countries that have maintained their skill development and retraining programs.

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Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, we face a bleak employment picture where there is a surplus of individuals available to work but a shortage of the necessary skills that the market will require. This skill shortage will mean that individuals will remain on unemployment longer than they have in the past. This skill shortage will at the same time bid up the price and the competition for the remaining available well-trained workers in key positions.

To corporations, that means that there will be increased pressure to move available jobs to where the “skills are.” For governmental policymakers, the future competitive advantage of a country will not be the price of its labor or the number of individuals available to work, but rather the ability to continuously upgrade the skill sets of the workforce.

To individual firms, it means that the only alternative to offshoring most new high-skilled jobs will be the development of effective retraining programs that can rapidly and cost-effectively upgrade the skills of the unemployed. Unfortunately, retraining a large number of entry-level workers is not an area that most firms excel at.

For the first time in memory, a successful rebounding economy as a result of the government’s efforts might not be followed by an increase in the number of skilled jobs held by U.S. workers. Half of the economy (the output segment) might turn around relatively rapidly, while the other half (the jobs segment) might stagnate for a significant period of time. 2009 is looking too much like 1931 to allow anyone to think that another unemployment depression is not possible.

Dr. John Sullivan, professor, author, corporate speaker, and advisor, is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high-business-impact talent management solutions.

He’s a prolific author with over 900 articles and 10 books covering all areas of talent management. He has written over a dozen white papers, conducted over 50 webinars, dozens of workshops, and he has been featured in over 35 videos. He is an engaging corporate speaker who has excited audiences at over 300 corporations/ organizations in 30 countries on all six continents. His ideas have appeared in every major business source including the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, CFO, Inc., NY Times, SmartMoney, USA Today, HBR, and the Financial Times. In addition, he writes for the WSJ Experts column. He has been interviewed on CNN and the CBS and ABC nightly news, NPR, as well many local TV and radio outlets. Fast Company called him the "Michael Jordan of Hiring," called him “the father of HR metrics,” and SHRM called him “One of the industry's most respected strategists." He was selected among HR’s “Top 10 Leading Thinkers” and he was ranked No. 8 among the top 25 online influencers in talent management. He served as the Chief Talent Officer of Agilent Technologies, the HP spinoff with 43,000 employees, and he was the CEO of the Business Development Center, a minority business consulting firm in Bakersfield, California. He is currently a Professor of Management at San Francisco State (1982 – present). His articles can be found all over the Internet and on his popular website and on He lives in Pacifica, California.



13 Comments on “Are You Prepared For a Jobs Depression?

  1. John I’m glad that you are not afraid of the “D” word. You are thinking big picture and it’s good to brace for the worst.

    OTH I have some issues with some ideas you threw out there:

    – It’s hard to imagine how any of the bailout activity has boosted the productivity (output) of the economy- quite the reverse- that’s all tommorow’s income (and interest expense) and will no doubt undermine the kind of productivity growth that would have otherwise been possible with similar massive investment starting in positive territory.

    – The other side of this crisis will be far from being the first jobless recovery- we just had one from 2004-2008.

    – its not a highly likely situation there would be massive economic weakness at the same time as high skills demand-deflationary spirals (depressions) generally mean overcapacity in almost all areas.

    – huge parts of the economy cannot be offshored.

    – huge parts of the economy will remain that require low or medium skills from associated workforces.

    – there are deep forces at work in our society on demographic, environmental, energy, and social levels that are going to reshape the economy with or without this recession. What we make, buy, and do is not going to look the same going forward. We are going to see fewer choices, smaller scales, and much more focus on sustainablity.

    – What led us to this moment are sustainability problems in our culture(s) that have to be (and will be) overcome; the ratings agencies, the SEC, the real-estate complex, the medical complex, the local government complex, the loss of egalitarion values, and oversized resource use by individuals from top to bottom are the causes of the current crisis.

    -This evolution will create some jobs, render others useless, and generally put us in a lower state of consumption at higher relative cost. It’s a giant shit sandwich and we are all going to have to eat it.

    So John, what we really need to do is realize that we are a lot poorer of a country than we thought we were, living in a poorer world than we thought we were, heading into a time when the meaning and markers of wealth will be changing quickly.

    Productivity and reward have been untying for getting on 50 years now here in the USA. If we had 98% of the people working 20 hours a week doing job-sharing in a scaled down consumption economy, it would feel like a depression, but it actually would be a phase-change.

    The world will always have more work in it than can be done- high, medium, and low skilled. The demand side for labor in a ‘free’ market system is unlimted- it’s only a matter of the rules of the game to determine who plays and who sits.

  2. Good analysis in many ways, BUT:

    (1) Martin in previous comment is also right on many points;

    (2) Some “traditional government work projects” can be reshaped so as to include more “pick and shovel” jobs, as was done with CCC/WPA — to my understanding (without having read detailed history on them) these jobs, which produced infrastructure still in use today, were deliberately made lower-tech in order to employ more.

    (3) To the extent they require more skill, training/retraining can and should be part of the “traditional government work projects.”

    (4) On the “retraining capacity” — yes, this is hugely important. Stimulating the educational sector will need to be part of the stimulus-recovery plan.

    George Lenard
    George’s Employment Blawg

  3. Your points too are well taken George- esp. the idea of being deliberately lower tech- that’s a pretty important notion for sustainability – the idea that each process needs the ‘right’ level of tech, because its easy to have too much….or too little…..

    Public education needs a basic realignment to serve two different roles at different times for different people; creating citizens and creating economic actors. Two different needs, two kinds of metrics for success, one not leading to the other automatically.

    “Skills” dont work in a vaccum- and if one thing tends to surprise year in and year out, its how fast people can pick things up.

  4. Great article. I find it interesting that the “hire only passive candidates group” seems soooo quiet these days. Kinda makes you wonder huh? Thought so!

  5. Noted futurist, internationally recognized business consultant, and author Gerald Celente, often referred to as a modern day Nostradamus, also believes we face serious challenges not only in 2009 but well beyond.! In fact he has been accurately predicting events that will “change personal prosperity and business growth long perceived a birthright”. Celente says ”… today, as America’s fortunes dwindle, its people will be forced to adjust attitudes and alter practices to compensate for the losses.” You better have a strategy to survive 2009 and beyond!

    Talent Management practices in that sense are center stage. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, says “People are not your most important asset …the right people are”; yet surveys by business performance experts continue to show that 80% of your business results are produced by just 20% of your people …your Top Performers! What would be the impact of changing the performance curve…having 80% of your people performing like your top 20%? Predicting the job performance of an employee is getting more difficult as jobs become more specialized. Companies know who their Top Performers are, but only long after the initial job offer and hire. Identifying the Right Talent in advance is a fundamental challenge. Whether a company is hiring new people or realigning existing talent, having the right people doing the right jobs is essential if individuals are to consistently meet their goals and for businesses to achieve performance objectives.

    It has always been a challenge sorting through the maze of talent. There are over 4000 human capitol assessment solutions; they are almost as ubiquitous as the number of third-party search firms. Candidly, in good economic times passive candidates are often the only choice when pursuing Top Talent. This is obviously not one of those times. Nevertheless, bigger haystacks of candidate don’t always translate into finding the sharpest needles. Companies still fight to retain their best as RIF’s put more pressure (to work longer-harder) on those who’ve weathered the cuts. Passive candidates are therefore harder to shake loose; and search firms are the best at doing that job! Regarding Adam’s ‘thought so’ maybe those search firms who’ve survived are just too busy picking up the slack for those who haven’t been as fortunate. Isn’t Talent management a strategic function where consultants will earn their way helping businesses develop competitive strategies that optimize business performance; and aren’t 3rd party search firms a part of that equation?

    Finally, John and some of the responses opened the door on immigration in relation to jobs. The impact is significant to the point where it alone could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back pushing the U.S. into a jobs depression beyond anyone’s imagination and with far reaching consequence that only futurists are writing about.

    For example, the impact of jobs from off-shoring/outsourcing according to mainstream economist Alan Blinder a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve’s board has warned that 42 to 56 million American service-sector jobs are in jeopardy of being outsourced…three times the number of manufacturing jobs (14MM).

    The impact of legal immigration, until the mid 1960’s, was limited to workforce replacement needs at a rate of about 170,000 per year; but now this segment of immigration flows at a staggering rate of one million per year. These increases and the practice of importing high numbers of technical and professionals via a myriad of visas, hiring foreign post-secondary masters and doctoral students, with no hope of gaining citizenship (sending them home after a couple of year to be replace by new grads) has reduced wages for both skilled and college educated American workers. According to the DOL citizens wages are suppressed nominally by 30% and as much as 45% in this arena. And according to a recent report on the MSNBC financial news, as many as 3 million or more domestic white collar jobs are at risk over the next decade.

    There are millions of skilled jobs in the U.S. occupied by illegal immigrants. The jobs that illegal immigrants now take are the jobs that once supported a vibrant American blue collar workforce. Now a growing number of these jobs go to illegal aliens rather than to the millions of less educated Americans having a high school diploma or less. This tragic trend has affected every racial demographic; but has been particularly hard on the 40 percent of all black males in the U.S. that are unemployed. Here are the facts. When it comes to illegal aliens, they currently occupy somewhere between 7 and 10 million Americans jobs or more. Accept for agriculture jobs, these are jobs in construction and myriad other occupations that Americans use to do and would do again, as proven after every ICE raid, where companies pay more to Americans that fill the vacancies. When it comes to skilled jobs as many as a half million are taken by illegal aliens.

    Did someone mention sustainability issues? Did you know that by the middle of the next decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau the number of poor in the U.S. will exceed the population in the middleclass? That’s one definition of a third-world county. The U.S. already has serious systemic challenges with across the board problems on infrastructure, natural resource utilization, environmental degradation (the dessert is literally being trampled to death), crime, education, employment and a host of other rips in the nations fabic. Immigration trends, according to U.S. Census Bureau put America’s population up by another 100 million in little more than 30 years and surpassing one-half billion not long after that. California government agencies predict an increase of 22,000,000 in CA, moving the population from 38 million to over 60 million. In both cases nearly all of that growth is associated with “immigration” of uneducated low skilled workers.

    The arguments some use justifying current off-the-books immigration by citing immigration demographics of the past immigration waves are absurd. In the past the jobs available required little if any education. Before this crisis, poverty was already rising, rapidly, and the middleclass shrinking. An improvised immigrant population holds down the wages of native U.S. labor in many occupations.

    Not only is this the biggest immigration challenge American has faced since the moratorium on immigration in the early 1920’s after less than 40 years of loose policy; the coming demographic explosion will make the current economic crisis look like a financial cakewalk.

    Enforcement of existing laws and legislative action like the Save Act could stem that tide.What economy on the face of the earth is going to support an American basket weaving industry?

  6. There is a lot of information here to consider:

    1) If the 80-20 rule applied to work, wouldn’t it make sense to increase the productivity of the top 20% by 25%, then fire the bottom 80%? With the savings involved, companies should come out ahead. Question: how does atop 20% janitor, receptionist, A/P clerk, engineer, HR Coordinator, teacher, marketing manager, tech support, or bus driver differ from those in the bottom 80%? Some skills are hard to quantify…

    2) I am very skeptical of Brandon’s assertions and (anti-)immigration statistics, particularly “There are millions of skilled jobs in the U.S. occupied by illegal immigrants.” What skilled jobs? Carpentry and what else? I DO believe that illegal immigrants have negatively impacted the incomes and living standards of the lowest-skilled Americans, but this may or may not be a major factor compared to the (until-recent) stagnation of minimum wages and the unfair imposition of payroll taxes.

    3) Let’s consider outsourcing as part of the bigger question: what kind of work do “we” want Americans to do and what will we pay them? IMHO, we should work to eliminate, automate, or outsource as many low value-add, dirty, dangerous, or dull service and manufacturing jobs as feasible, and pay decently for those that remain here.

    Let’s say you have a 54 year old woman who’s worked as an A/P A/R clerk for 25 years, or a 47 year old machinist who’s worked for 30 years, both for a small factory in the Midwest that’s a vendor for the Big Three Automakers. On December 24th they (along with everybody else) receive a 60 day notice that the factory is closing. What are these folks and their families going to do? Work for a half to a quarter as much at Walmart? As Dr. Sullivan mentioned, as a society we haven’t been exactly the best in retraining large numbers of obsolesced, vulnerable workers in current in-demand skills, and we’ve been really bad about hiring them. The big question remains: what are we going to do with the tens of millions of people like this?

    I believe we need to commit to a national program supported by both business and labor of determining the skills necessary for today’s and tomorrow’s workplace, re-training the displaced/at risk workers in meaningful and job-relevant programs, and then committing to hire those who’ve successfully completed the programs at living wages and benefits through a combination of “carrots and sticks.”

    If our nation uses this troubled time to commit to being first in the world in education, training, health, infrastructure, and sustainability/renewables, then this can truly be the American Century.

    Keith Halperin

  7. Keith,

    Skepticism is healthy. I welcome it. In fact I have more FACTS on the topic than you are probably going to want to read or respond to. BUT LET’S START THE DIALOG!

    Politicians and media personalities do everything possible to hide the facts, in plain site. Here’s some facts. The U.S. issues approximately 138,000 new work permits and green cards to foreign workers each month !

    Many people unwittingly deny it. But any who don’t like the numbers can argue with the U.S. Government.

    Here is the source for the 138,000 figure.

    The Department of Homeland Security’s most-recent-year data show that the U.S. granted:

    • 744,531 permanent green cards to working-age adults ages 20-64, and
    • 912,735 new employment authorization documents to temporary foreign workers.

    That adds up to an annual rate of 1,657,266 new foreign workers (not counting illegal workers) added to our economy. There are no indications that the pace has slackened.

    If the DHS continues to issue work permits and green cards at the same pace, we will see 138,000 new foreign workers arriving every month this year.

    At a time of giant job losses, does it make any sense to keep inviting foreign labor or outsourcing the future of our children to other nations? When you get on a airliner, before it takes off, the crew warns passengers with children the adult should put on their mask first. Is this any different?


    Did you know there is an oversupply of engineering and science graduates in the U.S.

    Yes, long before the current economic chaos, there were more engineering and science post doctoral grads created than jobs for those people. Here’s just part of one recent well publicized story told by Norm Matloff a Professor of Computer Science at the University of California at Davis who advises Tech Students on Tech Careers and writes extensively on immigration policy issues.

    Most discussion of the H-1B work visa program focuses on IT, not surprising since the computer fields take a plurality of the visas. Yet H-1B’s impact on science and academia is equally important, with the abuse being equally rampant (though, as with IT, fully legal). A piece by Beryl Lieff Benderley in Science Careers, a publication of Science Magazine, highlights this issue. It’s startling but gratifying to see such a staid publication take such an un-PC, though correct, stance.

    “H-1B holders’ vulnerability to their employers’ whims is only one of the many features of this controversial visa that attract sharp criticism. Just about everyone with a stake in the system—American engineers, scientists, and IT professionals; high-tech executives and their lobbyists; influential U.S. senators and the Department of Homeland Security–finds fault with the program’s provisions, enforcement, or both.”

    I’ve brought up the subject myself in various ways, most recently in connection with Douglas Prasher, the “almost-Nobelist” who is working as a van driver for a Toyota dealer. In a recent posting , I wrote…
    “The 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Martin Chalfie, Osamu Shimomura and Roger Tsien for their work on green fluorescent protein (GFP). Douglas Prasher, who played a key role by discovering the relevant gene, and by contributing it to Chalfie and Tsien, was snubbed for the prize. Much worse, it turns out that he is currently not in science at all, working as a shuttle bus driver for a Toyota dealership in Alabama.”

    In summary: Prasher’s work was central to research that led to this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry, and one of the winners said he could well have been selected for the award himself. Yet he went through a series of jobs in science, with shorter and shorter duration and less and less security. In the end he was reduced to driving the van for a living.

    The point is that Prasher is a victim of a crushing oversupply of scientists, in turn caused by a large influx imported from abroad under the H-1B program, just as Ms. Benderley describes. What Benderley probably doesn’t know, though, is that all of this was deliberate. When the National Science Foundation was lobbying Congress to establish the H-1B program in the late 1980s, the NSF cited as a major goal holding down PhD salaries, which would be accomplished by flooding the labor market with H-1B PhDs. The NSF also noted that the low salaries would drive away American students from PhD programs, which is of course exactly what has happened. See Eric Weinstein’s investigative reporting on this, at and quotes of it, at

    Bottom line: The H-1B program is being used in academia for cheap labor, just like in IT. It’s ruining the careers and lives of people like “Otto B. Doing-Better,” even to the point of forcing a Nobel-level researcher into blue collar work to earn a living. And all this is occurring unseen behind the hype that “Johnnie can’t do science” and the U.S. is on the verge of losing its technical edge.

    Keith, this is just a start. What say you.

  8. PS:

    Finally a personal example about jobs and wages I wrote in 2007 that sheds light on “…what kind of work do “we” want Americans to do and what will we pay them…”

    In 1967 I turned 18. At that time I worked in the construction industry as a laborer [hod carrier] tending to bricklayers. It was one of the best jobs in the market place for kids both in high school and those with nothing more than a high school education. At the time this was a job that paid between two and three times what my peers were making in other jobs (soda fountain, grocery store, custodian, at the hospital, etc). I was earning $6.00/ hr. Today, 40 years later, that same job pays between minimum wage and about $7/hr. It doesn’t take a math genius figure that there is something wrong with that picture, when some 40 years later, the pay for the same job is as much as a whole $1/hr more for what it was. While I don’t believe this is a job that American workers now won’t do…it’s no surprise that American workers are impacted negatively even better paying jobs of skilled tradesmen such as block/brick layers, carpenters, plumbers…while 75% of these jobs held by those with a right to work in the U.S. ; the 25% who are illegally in these jobs displace those who are entitled to these jobs and they hold down wages for everyone. These are facts.

    Using the BLS CPI Inflation calculator…that same $6/hr job in 2007 is now equivalent to $36.36/hr.

    How is it that 40 years later this job, and jobs in the skilled trades, once solid middleclass jobs are now paying the same nominal dollars (in some cases even less)? What happened in America that caused this dramatic decline in wages? Do they believe it might have anything at all to do with employers hiring illegal aliens? Could it be that the bottom line for employers is simply much better when in many cases they: (1) don’t pay overtime, (2) don’t provide benefits like, vacation, paid time off, and healthcare [because such services are provided tax payer supported emergency rooms] etc., (3) don’t pay SSI and the myriad other taxes; or alternatively employers pay significantly less in SSI and other taxes to people [employed at lower wages] who have gained employment with fraudulently acquired documents such as social security cards?

    IF this is happening, wouldn’t that depress wages, tax revenues, and living standards of American workers?

    Is there really a labor shortage…in any industry?

  9. Brandon,

    I don’t understand how you could arrive at your conclusion that immigration (illegal or otherwise) could possibly be the cause of the changes that you describe. I suppose you could have leaned on off-shoring too, but that would hardly apply to people who carry bricks now would it ?

    I see it differently- more a simple case of a complex of policies that hurt the lower classes to the benefit of the upper classes. Can one say that without being a Marxist?

    I own a company and employ people, and I could not believe more in a free-market capital system.

    Lets see what else has changed since 1968. How about a top marginal tax rate that year of 72.25%? That following a decade and half of the top rate being over 90%! Here is the table:

    It’s well known that wealth inequality has doubled (at least) in the US since the early 1970’s. For every $6 brick carrier in 1968, how many CEO’s do you think were making a few hundred times the average salary of their employees?

    How much do you think the general contractor you were working for was bringing home compared to you in 1968? What do you think the average attorney or accountant was making back then compared to construction workers? Do you think maybe 25 years of beating down labor unions might have something to do with lower wages for lower and semi-skilled work ?

    Nope, the general problem is that the whole notion of an egalitarian society has gone out the window, which may be a sort of understandable mass reaction to the inevitable phase change that was required by simple historic facts:

    In 1945 the entire industrial world save the United States was in ruins- while we were not only untouched, we had grown into what was then a hyperpower with not a single realistic competitor on the face of the Earth. That could not, and did not, last forever. To think that our current situation is caused by illegal immigration is a delusion caused by a lack of insight into the real workings of history and our society.

    On the upside, I think there is titanic wealth to be created by fixing our energy and healthcare problems and when we do that, I expect an era of prosperity possibly rivaling the postwar run- because we still have a pretty good chunk of that legacy left, despite our best efforts to squander it.

    The recession/depression we are going into will help narrow that wealth spread among our people and re-harden our economic muscles; all in all, not such bad things…….

  10. I too own a business. My son owns a B2B & B2C marketing business serving both national and local retail interests. You want to see what it’s really like, get out in the trenches of Main Street.
    I too believe in a free-market system. But just as Teddy Roosevelt, I also believe there are limits. TR understood that national policies and practices had to be aligned to balance social and business interests.

    JACK CROOKS, FINANCIAL ANALYST HAS THIS TO SAY: The consumer depends on jobs, and jobs depend on business wealth creation. For economies built around supplying U.S. consumers with goods, and economies built around supplying the materials to make those goods, deteriorating consumer demand is the worst possible scenario.

    GERALD CELENTE NOTED FUTURIST, internationally recognized business consultant, and author, often referred to as a modern day Nostradamus, has been accurately predicting events that will “change personal prosperity and business growth long perceived a birthright”. Celente says ”… today, as America’s fortunes dwindle, its people will be forced to adjust attitudes and alter practices to compensate for the losses.”

    CANDIDLY MARTY, I fail to understand your analysis of lower taxes in the context of labor and immigration. You might consider these facts. There has been a quadrupling of immigration since 1965. The runaway population growth, nearly all from immigration (legal and illegal) is destroying the middle-class.

    ACCORDING TO THE U.S. CENSUS BUREAU the number of poor in the U.S. will exceed the number in the middle-class in just 7 years. A disproportionately large poor class is in fact one definition of a third-world country. An ever shirking and smaller middle-class creates wide economic social disparities and unrest. A collapse in income and wealth of the middle-class where the population headed toward one billion does not paint a pretty picture; and the U.S. Census Bureau says this is America’s fate shortly after the turn of the next century.

    THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS (BLS) POPULATION SURVEY; JULY, 2007 says this about the Jobs Americans Won’t Do and wages:

    ? There are 55,436,000 million Americans, ages 16-64, who are not in the labor force.
    ? 14 million Americans are unable to find full-time jobs in the current economy.
    ? The unemployment rate among the 12 million American adults who do not have a high school diploma is almost 9 percent.
    ? Forty percent of working-age African-American men are unemployed.
    79 percent of the 23 million workers in service jobs are native-born Americans.
    ? 81 percent of the 6 million workers in construction jobs are native-born Americans.
    ? 77 percent of the 10 million workers in manufacturing jobs are native-born Americans.

    Financial Times; May 10, 2005 stated Real wages in the US are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years.


    Here’s what the CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES has to say about that lame notion in a report “Immigrant Entry and Native Exit From the Labor Market, 2000-2005.” Detailed analysis of 473 separate occupations shows that there are virtually no jobs in which a majority of workers are immigrants, let alone illegal aliens. The overwhelming majority of workers in almost every single occupation, even the lowest-paid, are native-born.

    At the same time that natives have been leaving the labor market, the number of immigrants with a high school degree or less in the labor force increased by 1.6 million. Wage growth among less-educated adult natives has also lagged well behind more-educated workers.

    The argument that America needs illegal aliens and high levels of legal immigration only makes sense if one ignores the plight of less-educated native-born Americans. We find little evidence that immigrants only do jobs natives don’t want.


    Center for Immigration Studies update:

    A 2007 report by CIS provides a detailed picture of the nation’s immigrant population and the enormous strains it’s largely uneducated population puts on the American workforce, social services and the economy. A few key points include:


    ? Unemployment and non-work has grown significantly among less-educated Americans; and the overwhelming majority of low-wage jobs are done by less-educated native-born Americans; but immigration has a very large effect on the low-skilled labor market.
    ? the nation’s immigrant population (legal and illegal) is nearly 38 million… one in eight US residents …the highest number in the nation’s history. ..and is adding 1.5 million new immigrants (legal and illegal) each year.

    In CALIFORNIA (same for other states – just not as pronounced…except along the border):

    ? immigrants and their young children comprise nearly 60 percent of the uninsured,
    ? 39 percent of immigrant-headed households in the state used at least one major welfare program, twice the rate for native households.
    ? 38 percent of adult immigrants in California have not completed high school, six times the rate for natives
    ? the median income of immigrant households is 21 percent lower in California than that of native households,

    No nation has every attempted to incorporate 38 million new comers into its society.
    ? The data shows that less-educated American workers, public schools, health care providers and taxpayers will feel the effects if we continue down our present path.”
    ? “There’s a high cost to cheap labor.”
    ? This cheap labor is, PLAIN AND SIMPLE, CORPORATE WELFARE !

    Steven Camarota is Director of Research at the Center for Immigration Studies.

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    Since 1970, immigration has increased the number of unskilled job applicants faster than the number of skilled job applicants. “Between 1890 and 1915 wages grew more slowly in those American cities where the proportion of immigrants grew fastest.” Virtually all evidence of this phenomenon suggests the harm is proportionately greater to the most vulnerable American workers.


    “increasing the supply of labor, immigration between 1980 and 2000 cost native-born American men an average $1,700 in annual wages by the year 2000. “However, the effects of immigration on wages were most profoundly felt by native-born black and Hispanic Americans who suffered 4.5-5% wage reductions as compared with the 3.5% wage loss felt by native-born white Americans.” Compound those figures.


    The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, chaired by the late Barbara Jordan, concluded long ago that present immigration numbers are a source of economic injustice in this country. The Commission recommended lowering immigration numbers significantly. Sadly, narrow but powerful public and private sector interests have prevailed and the problems have only gotten worse.


    Marty, you will need to rethink your vision of improved health care. With a shrinking middle-class and exponentially expanding poor population…who’s going to pay? Where’s the money coming from for new energy infrastructure. In the 1970’s OPEC killed alternative energy production in the U.S.; and they’ll do it again.


  12. It does not help when the financial services sector in U.S pays 18 billion U.S in bonuses to senior executives for poor performance and corruption…CORPORATE WELFARE…USING GOVERNMENT US MONEY TO PAY THESE BONUSES…please do not equate immigration with corporate executive corruption….these executives do not believe in paying income taxes….The shareholders pay their income taxes….This act alone is Anti American and frankly repulsive to every shareholder that expects fiduciary responsibility to shareholders.

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