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2015 Update: How Native-Born Americans and U.S. Immigrants Work

The Department of Labor has released its latest annual report regarding the extent to which people born in the USA and immigrants to the USA work.  The latest information available as of Summer 2016 is for calendar year 2015.  These newly-published results indicate that in 2015, 62.2% of native-born Americans were active in the labor force.  By comparison, 65.2% of immigrants to the United States were active in the labor force.  This result contradicts the story told by anti-immigrant forces who insist that immigrants are lazy.  If work is the opposite of laziness, then it looks like immigrants are less lazy than Americans who were born here.

How about immigrants of color?  Some people who rhyme with Schmonald Flump like to castigate Hispanic immigrants, suggesting that they’re ne’er-do-well layabouts who suck on the teat of Mother America, dependent on the welfare state for their livelihood. Yet the labor force participation rate of Hispanic immigrants is higher than the labor force participation rate of immigrants overall — 68.2%.  What about foreign-born blacks?  Their labor force participation rate was actually the highest — at 70.8% in 2015.

If the Schmonald Flumps of the world absolutely must be opposed to immigration and call them lazy layabouts, they should focus their negative energies on the subset of immigrants who only had a 58.7% labor force participation rate in 2015.  Who are these particular “lazy” immigrants? Foreign-born white immigrants.  If Flump really wants to exclude the “laziest” immigrants from the country, he should stand up and demand that European immigration to the USA must come to an end.

Do you think that Schmonald Flump is ever going to make that move?  Don’t hold your breath. The Flumps of the world don’t base their speeches on the silly gathering of national statistics. Flumps work from a much more serious source: the gut.  Flumpguts are much more comfortable with pale immigrants, statistics be darned. Don’t like it? Move to another country and change its labor force participation rate!

6 thoughts on “2015 Update: How Native-Born Americans and U.S. Immigrants Work”

  1. Chris says:

    Do you have to write with such scorn? I’ve just read a couple of your posts, and was prepared to take you seriously, but now…

    I’m a Trump supporter, and if you really think we are all know-nothings, I can tell you you’re wrong. The post above is a red herring. I’m sure there are some who do make the argument that immigrants are lazy, but the strongest argument is really based on the opposite assumption: they aren’t lazy, and that makes them really tough competition for jobs, against the citizens who are here now.

    I also want to say that your replies to “Escape from MPLS” on this post[1] were really obnoxious. He came to your site and, in good faith, left a message, that wasn’t disrespectful in the least. I know that anecdotes aren’t the same as statistics, but they’re not worthless, either. You guys basically accused him of making stuff up just to foment xenophobia. Pfft.


    1. Jim Cook says:

      “quasi-Stone Age tribesmen” is not respectful. You don’t have to read anything on this website if you don’t like it. Is that “scornful”? Ok, then, I’m scornful. Go read a Trump site if you want someone with patience for prejudice against an entire group of people. I have no such patience. Yes, that’s scorn. Don’t mistake it for hate, but I’m not the pinkies-up doily pretend-smile type.

  2. Chris says:

    > “quasi-Stone Age tribesmen” is not respectful.


    > ….prejudice against an entire group of people.

    Who, Trump? If you mean him, then I’m afraid you’ve fallen for a common trope that’s been perpetuated by the media. When has he exhibited prejudice? The usual accusations are all based on quotes taken out of context. His “mexican rapists” comment was specifically about Mexico not sending their best — they’re sending us their rapists, etc. His comments about the judge? That judge *is* Mexican, when it suits him. He’s a card-carrying member of a La Raza (“the race”) group. But conveniently, he’s not when Trump says he is. And of course his being Mexican might effect his judgement — that’s exactly what “wise latina” Sotomayor said on many occasions, and it’s the whole justification for diversity in the first place, isn’t it?

    > Don’t mistake it for hate, …

    Right. I’m starting to get used to the way your minds work with words. A “hate” group is spews hatred — as long as they’re white. A “racist” is someone who hates people from other races — as long as the subject is white.

    > I’m not the pinkies-up doily pretend-smile type

    No, you’re just another typical no-nothing, spewing the party line.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      1. No, the judge is American, of Mexican descent. He is not a member of La Raza, the activist organization. He is a member of a similarly-named Latino lawyers’ group.

      2. I don’t belong to any political party, so it’s impossible for me to “spew a party line.”

      3. The rest of your comment is unrelated to anything I’ve said, and so is mostly a reflection of your interests. They’re very interesting interests, but they’re not mine.

  3. the chosen one says:

    So many contradictions. Who is saying immigrants are lazy? Endless Immigration is a source of cheap labor perpetuated by the 1%. Trump people say no need for immigration when so many people out of work. Quit giving “lazy” Americans endless welfare and make them take jobs immigrants would otherwise take. Shrink the labor pool so businesses pay more due to high demand of workers.
    Secondly Americans have the right to be “lazy” and don’t have to answer to immigrants or foreigners. It’s their country after all.

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