Yesterday’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 339,000 jobs added in May, bringing the total new jobs created since President Joe Biden took office to over 13 million. While unemployment ticked up to 3.7%, President Biden that we’ve gone 16 straight months with unemployment under 4%, a consistent low the United States hasn’t seen since the 1960s (specifically, two good 17-month and 27-month streaks from February 1966 through January 1970, interrupted by a 4.0% blip in October 1967).
Tucked away in NPR’s breakdown of what that seemingly good employment news means is a link to a May 18 BLS report on foreign-born workers which notes that a lot of that good jobs news comes from immigrants. In 2022, unemployment among foreign-born people in the U.S. dropped from 5.6% to 3.4%. Unemployment among native-born Americans dropped from 5.3% to 3.7%. Before the pandemic, unemployment was 3.1% for foreign-born folks and 3.8% for us natives.
The labor force grew 1.91% in 2022, gaining 3.08 million new workers. 1.77 million of those new workers were born outside the United States. Foreign-born workers made up only 18.1% of the total civilian workforce in 2022, but those immigrants made up 57.3% of the new workers.
America’s workforce is growing, and the majority of that growth comes from immigrants. If we want to keep the economy growing we should send the National Guard to the border with clipboards and work visa applications.