Under President Trump’s platform of economic nationalism and his quest to “make America great again,” we see positive news emerging as wages rise and the job market becomes more competitive. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) showed a historical rise in wages for small business workers in its monthly jobs report with 32% of owners saying now is a good time to expand, the increase resulting in the highest level since the NFIB survey began in 1973.
The hourly inflation-adjusted wages earned by the typical worker have been stagnant for almost 40 years, which means that while the economy has been growing, most people have not seen growth in their paychecks. Many blame the continued and escalating rate of immigration. For years, the flow of both legal and illegals into our country has driven wages down and kept them low.
Earlier this week, an article in Breitbart reported:
“Though pro-cheap labor economists claim the so-called “labor shortages” are detrimental to U.S. businesses, the NFIB report admits that the reduced number of workers is not stopping them from hiring more workers and growing their small businesses.
The Washington, DC-imposed cheap labor economic model of importing more than one million new legal immigrants every year to compete mostly for working and middle-class jobs against Americans has resulted in decades of stagnant and even decreased wages for U.S. workers.”
While the movement is positive, the headwinds are a tightening of the labor market with a shortage of skilled workers to fill the positions. The key reasons for the severe lack of skilled workers include small companies who typically have cut back on training dollars yet continue to recruit for the perfect candidate, which may not exist in today’s market, and therefore they are unable to fill the positions. Also, baby boomers are retiring from the workforce in droves and taking with them the skills and experience they acquired over decades. It is becoming difficult if not impossible to find younger workers to replace them. Therefore, to remain competitive, business owners must pay more to keep and attract the best-qualified workers and will need to increase dollars for training the current and incoming workforce.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report issued at year-end shows just how effective the executive order signed by President Trump has been, especially in the interior parts of the country. Deportations of illegal aliens living in the United States peaked at more than 61,000 in the first nine months of 2017 compared to the 41,000 deported for the same time frame under former President Obama in 2016. (Note this does not include those illegals captured trying to enter across the border.)
Couple this with the shot of optimism from the new tax law, and it seems to paint a pleasant picture, especially for those workers in the middle class. However, it must be hedged with what the upcoming weeks and months will bring to the immigration bargaining table. The potential amnesty for millions of illegal aliens and continued mass legal immigration through chain migration could result in those increased wages disintegrating into thin air.
Americans voted Donald Trump into office with the expectation that there would be mass immigration reform. The fight with Democrats begins to look minimal in comparison to the split within the GOP on this issue. Moreover, of course, there are those mid-term elections which have caused some to be thewless in their positions.