Photo credit: Russ EvansTwo-thirds of those who have found employment under President Obama are immigrants, both legal and illegal, according to an analysis that suggests immigration has soaked up a large portion of what little job growth there has been over the past three years.
The Center for Immigration Studies is releasing the study Thursday morning, a day ahead of the final Labor Department unemployment report of the campaign season, which is expected to show a sluggish job market more than three years into the economic recovery.
That slow market, combined with the immigration numbers, could explain why Mr. Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have struggled to find a winning jobs message in some of the country’s hardest-hit postindustrial regions.
“It’s extraordinary that most of the employment growth in the last four years has gone to the foreign-born, but what’s even more extraordinary is the issue has not even come up during a presidential election that is so focused on jobs,” said Steven A. Camarota, the center’s research director, who wrote the report along with demographer Karen Zeigler.
His numbers are stark: Since the first quarter of 2009, the number of immigrants of working age (16 to 65) who are employed has risen 2 million, from 21.2 million to 23.2 million. During the same time, native-born employment has risen just 1 million, to reach 119.9 million.
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