Washington Post: Wages Are Rising in ‘Tight Labor Market,’ but Import More Workers for Business

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

President Donald Trump’s ‘tight labor’ policies are boosting wages, but he should loosen immigration policies to supply business with more imported workers, says the Washington Posts editorial board.

“The tight labor market is pushing up wages for some workers and has provided opportunities to teenagers, students, ex-convicts, long-term unemployed, the disabled and others for whom the barriers to employment once looked daunting,” the Washington Posts editorial board wrote February 25. “Those are good things.”

But the Post‘s board called for Trump to loosen the labor market by importing more workers — even though the nation’s labor market includes more than 160 million Americans, as well as 11 million underemployed Americans, and at least one million white-collar workers:

Employers have raised the alarm about acute shortages of skilled and unskilled labor up and down the wage scale — construction workers; maintenance and repair workers; truckers; firefighters; furniture-makers; nurses; home health aides; farm workers.

when dozens of industries warn that worker shortages are constraining growth and investment … It makes sense to recalibrate immigration policy to meet the labor market’s future demands, including by admitting more high-skilled workers.

The Post‘s call for more “high-skilled workers” is a close match for the demands of the Washington Post‘s corporate owner, Jeff Bezos.

Bezos’s company, Amazon, already uses many H-1B visa workers. It is also lobbying for passage of S.368 bill, which would quadruple the annual number of green cards offered to Indian college-graduate workers, up to roughly 100,000 a year.

The bill, pushed by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, would also dramatically increase the incentives for Indian graduates to work in the United States via the Occupational Practical Training programs. It would also provide more Indian employers for Indian illegal aliens who help cut wages for blue-collar Americans.

The federal supply of foreign visa workers has pushed American professionals to create several advocacy groups, including SAITJ.org, U.S. Tech Workers, and the American Workers Coalition.

The Washington Post board decorated its call for federal intervention in the labor market by citing recent statements by Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s current chief of staff:

Mr. Mulvaney let slip that the United States needs more immigrants, lest severe labor shortages and anemic birth rates sap economic growth.

“We are desperate, desperate for more people,” said Mr. Mulvaney, evidently emboldened by the 3,600 miles separating his speaking venue, where TV cameras were not in evidence, from the White House. “We are running out of people to fuel the economic growth.”

The Post‘s board echoes a similar call by the Wall Street Journal for more government intervention to inflate the supply of labor. “Corporate profits have been declining as employers increase wages to hire scarce blue-collar workers … corporate profits could soon drop to historic lows, which could reduce business investment and GDP growth,” says the editorial board’s February complaint, titled “America’s Disappearing Workers.”

Each year, the federal government inflates the labor supply — and cuts wages — by importing roughly one million legal immigrants. Those migrants compete for jobs and housing against the four million Americans who turn 18 that year.

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