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America has a long tradition of immigration from a variety of continents creating one of the most diverse nations on earth. Through most of US history, immigrants were welcomed to meet ongoing labor shortages, but modern society is plagued by unemployment

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in management, mathematics and economics

Immigration and Unemployment

Introduction

Economic forces are unquestionably significant for immigration policymaking in the United States and other receiving countries . From the earliest days of the American republic , political leaders saw cheap immigrant labor as a valuable means of fueling the nation ‘s economic development . Indeed , state actors , businesses , labor unions , and other policy activists have never stopped viewing immigration as an important vehicle of labor recruitment in an international labor market Likewise , numerous labor economists persuasively highlight the cost-benefit ‘ calculations and economic motivations underlying much individual migration (although [banner_entry_middle]

often in a manner that understates powerful social linkages between sending and receiving countries and between communities and families across national bs

Thomas (1973 ) found ample evidence that during periods of economic decline and high unemployment in receiving countries like the United States , immigrants can become political scapegoats for a host of societal woes . During such times of economic distress , immigration often is both more salient and repellent to mass publics in receiving countries (Hollifield 1992 Brubaker 1995 Saxton 1971 . The potential importance of economic conditions in the development of American immigration policy is undeniable . However , precisely how economic conditions influence immigration politics and whether they dictate policy choices is quite another matter

Immigration and Unemployment

Both Marxian and non-Marxian versions that emphasize economic interests of employers /capitalists suggest that demand for migrant labor is not constant but varies with the state of the economy . In periods of prosperity and economic growth , demand for immigrant labor will be high in periods of recession , demand will be low . One way of operationalizing the economic interests of employers in immigrant labor is the unemployment rate . The relationship is anticipated to be negative as unemployment increase , the demand for immigrant labor decreases as unemployment declines , the demand for immigrant labor rises

Another measure of the tightness of labor markets or the organizational strength of labor is the relative wage rate . Where tight labor markets or labor organization have forced employers to bid up the price of labor , the demand for immigrant labor should be stronger . Because labor markets are not fully integrated internationally , firms face different national relative prices of labor . The relative price of labor is operationalized as the standardized hourly real wage rate and is anticipated to be positive : as the wage rate increases , the demand for immigrant labor increases

Labor market conditions , however , may not be the only reason why the demand for immigrant labor varies . As Zolberg (1983 ,

. 37 ) notes “Because there is no such thing as an absolute labor shortage importation is always a convenience rather than a necessity . It will be dispensed with should economic or sociopolitical costs go up , and capital often has the alternative of shifting to more capital intensive production or of moving its operations to low-wage sites abroad Bhagwati (1984 ,

. 696 ) also explains “the differential resort to importation of foreign labor ” by the “differential demand factors across . industries

If competition for economic , social , and cultural resources is large society prefers lower levels… [banner_entry_footer]

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