Report Finds Huge Number of Less-Educated Americans Not Working

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has released a new study detailing the U-6 unemployment rates among native born workers. U-6 is a broader measure of employment that includes the unemployed, people who would like to work but who have not looked for a job recently, and those involuntarily working part-time. A look at these numbers shows the situation is particularly bad for minorities, the young, and less-educated Americans. These are the workers who face the most competition from immigrants – legal and illegal.

The study, “A Huge Pool of Potential Workers: Unemployment, Underemployment, and Non-Work Among Native-Born Americans,” is authored by CIS Director of Research Steven A. Camarota and Demographer Karen Jensenius. Among the findings:

* As of the third quarter of 2009, there are 12.5 million unemployed native-born Americans, but the broader U-6 measure shows 21 million natives unemployed or underemployed.

* There are 6.1 million natives with a high school education or less who are unemployed. Using the U-6 measure, it is 10.4 million.

* In addition to those less-educated natives covered by U-6, there are another 18.7 million natives with a high school education or less not in the labor force, which means they are not looking for work.

* The total number of less-educated (high school education or less) natives who are unemployed, underemployed, or not in the labor force is 29.1 million.

* To place these numbers in perspective, there are an estimated seven to eight million illegal immigrants holding jobs.

* As of the third quarter of 2009, the overall unemployment rate for native-born Americans is 9.5 percent; the U-6 measure shows it as 15.9 percent.

* Nationally, the unemployment rate for natives with a high school degree or less is 13.1 percent. Their U-6 measure is 21.9 percent.

* State with the highest U-6 rates for less-educated natives are Michigan, California, Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Nevada, Illinois, and Georgia.

* The unemployment rate for natives nationally with less than a high school education is 20.5 percent. Their U-6 measure is 32.4 percent.

* Nationally, the unemployment rate for young native-born Americans (18-29) who have only a high school education is 19 percent. Their U-6 measure is 31.2 percent.

* Nationally, the unemployment rate for native-born blacks with less than a high school education is 28.8 percent. Their U-6 measure is 42.2 percent.

* The unemployment rate for young native-born blacks (18-29) with only a high school education is 27.1 percent. Their U-6 measure is 39.8 percent.

* Nationally, the unemployment rate for native-born Hispanics with less than a high school education is 23.2 percent. Their U-6 measure is 35.6 percent.

* The unemployment rate for young native-born Hispanics (18-29) with only a high school degree is 20.9 percent. Their U-6 measure is 33.9 percent.

* Nationally, the overall unemployment rate for immigrants (legal and illegal) is 9.9 percent. Their U-6 measure is 19.6 percent, which is significantly higher than the rate for natives.

* The unemployment rate for immigrants with less than a high school education is 12.3 percent. Their U-6 measure is 27.4 percent. The unemployment rate for young immigrants (18-29) with only a high school education is 12.2 percent. Their U-6 measure is 25.2 percent.

The above is a press release dated Dec. 10 from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076. Email: center@cis.org. Contact: Steven Camarota, 202-466-8185, sac@cis.org

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