November 24, 2020         
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Experts Untie the Immigration and Unemployment Knot







Washington, DC - Today, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released the third and final installment of a three-part report, Untying the Knot, which seeks to debunk the frequently misrepresented relationship between immigration and unemployment.  The final report, by Rob Paral and Associates, reveals that unemployed natives and employed recent immigrants cannot simply be "swapped" for one another since unemployed natives and employed immigrants tend to have different levels of education, live in different parts of the country, and have experience in different occupations and different levels of work experience.  The report also shows that immigrants tend to fit into the labor force in areas where there are insufficient numbers of comparable native workers.  In other words, removing immigrants would not automatically lead to job openings for natives.
The two previous Untying the Knot reports, also prepared by Rob Paral and Associates, examine data from the Census Bureau and find that there is no apparent relationship between the number of recent immigrants in a particular locale and the unemployment rate among native-born whites, blacks, Latinos, or Asians.  Even now, at a time of economic recession and high unemployment, there is no correlation between the number of recent immigrant workers in a given state, county, or city and the unemployment rate among native-born workers. 
"With the release of the final installment of Untying the Knot, policymakers now have a wider set of data that will help them distinguish fact from fiction when it comes to setting immigration policy," stated Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center. "This third installment further establishes that there are no simple correlations between levels of unemployment and the presence of immigrant workers in a community.  The report challenges the assumption that all native-born and immigrant workers are interchangeable or compete for the same jobs and instead shows that immigrant workers, more often than not, tend to complement the native-born worker within a particular job market."  
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