Eye on Unemployment: Should the U.S. Stop Immigration?

Aug. 02, 2009 10:12 AM ET46 Comments
David Hunkar profile picture
David Hunkar

Back in June, Michael Mandel of Business Week wrote an interesting piece, titled A Lost Decade for Jobs, in which he analyzed the growth private vs. public sector job growth. His research showed that the private sector “job growth was almost non-existent over the past ten years”.


He added:

Between May 1999 and May 2009, employment in the private sector sector only rose by 1.1%, by far the lowest 10-year increase in the post-depression period.

It’s impossible to overstate how bad this is. Basically speaking, the private sector job machine has almost completely stalled over the past ten years.


Source: Economics Unbound, Business Week

Over the past 10 years, the private sector has generated roughly 1.1 million additional jobs, or about 100K per year. The public sector created about 2.4 million jobs.

But even that gives the private sector too much credit. Remember that the private sector includes health care, social assistance, and education, all areas which receive a lot of government support.

So for the past 10 years, private sector job growth was just 100K per year which is very minuscule for an economy of our size. I wanted to see how this compares with the growth of population in our country, especially due to immigration.

In the post I shall try to analyze some of the effects of job growth against high growth in immigrants intake.

According to Office of Immigration Statistics, a total of 1,107,126 persons became Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) or Green Card holders of the United States in 2008. 58% of them already lived here.

The following chart shows the growth of LPR from 1900 to 2008 into the U.S.:


Source: Annual Flow Report, March 2009
Office of Immigration Statistics, Department of Homeland Security

The above chart shows that immigration growth increased from

This article was written by

David Hunkar profile picture
David Hunkar (pseudonym) holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Economics. He is a part-time consultant for a financial consulting firm where he manages portfolios for manages portfolios for self and family. He has been an investor for the past ten years. David focuses on foreign stocks trading in the US markets including the OTC market. He concentrates on high dividend yield and dividend growth stocks. ETFs are his another favorite investment vehicle. In addition to his contributions here at Seeking Alpha, you can also visit him at his blog www.topforeignstocks.com

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