Next time a defender of Obama’s economic job record begins touting all the jobs that were created under the leadership of the great man himself, drop this minor little statistic and wait for the reaction. Because you see some jobs did manage to come into being under Obama. Those jobs however had a curious predilection for not going to Americans.
Since President Obama took office, 67 percent of employment growth has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). There were 1.94 million more immigrants (legal and illegal) working in the third quarter of 2012 than at the start of 2009, when the president took office. This compares to a 938,000 increase for natives over the same time period. Most of the immigrant growth in employment was the result of new immigration, rather than immigrants already in the country taking jobs.
How do we explain these numbers?
One answer is cheap labor. In a bad economy, job growth is often concentrated in the areas that pay the least. People go to Wal-Mart, employers go to the curbside labor market. Even legitimate employers look for ways to cut corners, whether that’s Silicon Valley hiring third worlders or the local factory bringing aboard Guatemalan immigrants.
What is clear from these numbers however is that whatever job growth occurred under Obama mostly benefited newly arrived immigrants, not Americans or even existing immigrants. The picture that emerges from these numbers is of a Post-American America where employers go looking for cheap labor the way that American companies used to go looking for cheap labor in China.