Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) both voted for Senate Bill 744, which CIS calculated would have roughly doubled the number of new foreign workers allowed into the country and would have given legal status to millions of illegal aliens already in the country had the legislation been passed by the House and become law.
A CIS analysis using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey showed that since 2000, 71 percent of the net increase in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job in New Hampshire has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal), even though the native-born accounted for 65 percent of population growth among the working-age.
As a result, the share of natives holding a job in the state has declined significantly. Natives without a college education were affected the most by this trend, according to CIS.
“Job growth in New Hampshire has not been very strong,” Steven Camarota, CIS director of research and co-author of the report, said in a statement issued with the report. “The situation for natives without a college education has been particular bad.
“Thus it is surprising that many of New Hampshire’s politicians supported the Gang of Eight bill, which would give work authorization to illegal immigrants and dramatically increase the number of foreign workers allowed into the country in the future,” Camarota said.
CIS explained the methodology for the report this way: “The analysis is based on the ‘household survey,’ collected by the government. The survey is officially known as the Current Population Survey (CPS), and is the nation’s primary source of information on the labor market. Many jobs are created and lost each year and many workers change jobs as well. But the number of people employed reflects the net effect of these changes. We focus on the first half of each year 2000 to 2014 in this analysis because comparing the same part of the year over time controls for seasonality. Also combining six months of the CPS allows us to have more robust estimates for a small state like New Hampshire.
“This analysis focuses on those 16- to 65-years-old, so that we can examine the employment rate (share working) of native-born Americans. The employment rate is a measure of labor force attachment that is less sensitive to the business cycle compared to the often-cited unemployment rate. Immigrants or the foreign born (legal and illegal) are individuals who are not U.S. citizens at birth.”
Other findings include:
• Because the native working-age population in New Hampshire grew significantly, but the share working actually fell, there were nearly 41,000 more working-age natives not working in the first half of 2014 than in 2000 — a 25 percent increase.
• The supply of potential workers in New Hampshire is very large: In the first half of 2014, 205,000 working-age natives of all education levels were not working (unemployed or entirely out of the labor market) as were 16,000 working-age immigrants.
• All of the decline in the employment rate (share working) among working-age natives in New Hampshire has been among the less educated. The employment rate for natives in the state without a college degree declined from 77 percent in 2000 to 70 percent in the first half of 2014. In contrast, it increased from 85 to 87 percent for natives with at least a bachelor’s degree over the same time period.
The CSI concluded from its analysis of the government data the employment picture in the state of New Hampshire as follows:
• The long-term decline in employment for natives in New Hampshire and the large number of working-age natives not working clearly indicates that there is no general labor shortage in the state — especially among the less educated. Thus it is very difficult to justify the large increases in foreign workers (skilled and unskilled) allowed into the country in a bill like S.744, which many of the state’s politicians support.
• New Hampshire’s working-age immigrant population grew 70 percent from 2000 to 2014. Yet the number of working-age natives working in 2014 was only slightly above the number in 2000 and the share with a job actually fell. This undermines the argument that immigration on balance increases job opportunities for natives.