If you are a native-born American the impact on your wages from immigrants entering this country is postive. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by the Economic Policy Center on the impact of immigration on wages levels in the U.S. between 1994 and 2007.
The key findings were as follows:
- For workers with less than a high school education, the relative wage effect of immigration was similar to the overall effect. U.S.-born workers with less than a high school education saw a relative 0.3% increase in wages (or $1.58 per week), while foreign-born workers with less than a high school education saw a relative 3.7% decrease in wages (or $15.71 per week). In other words, immigration among workers with less than a high school degree served to lower the relative wages of other immigrant workers with less than a high school degree, not native workers with less than a high school degree.
- The wages of male U.S.-born workers with less than a high school education were largely unaffected by immigration over this period, experiencing a relative decline of 0.2% due to immigration (or $1.37 per week). Female U.S.-born workers with less than a high school education experienced a relative increase in wages of 1.1% due to immigration ($4.19 per week).
- Around 3% of the increase from 1994 to 2007 in wage inequality between workers with less than a high school degree and workers with a college degree or more can be attributed to immigration.
- This analysis finds no evidence that young workers in particular are adversely affected by immigration.
- While the methodology used in this paper does not allow for a racial breakdown of the effect of immigration on U.S.-born workers in different education groups, we find that the overall effect of immigration on wages is similar for white non-Hispanic U.S.-born workers (+0.5%) and black non-Hispanic U.S.-born workers (+0.4%) .
- From 1994 to 2007, the effect of immigration on wages did not vary greatly over periods of very different labor demand, in part, because immigration flows respond strongly to the conditions of the U.S. economy.
- An analysis of the four states with the highest immigration over this period—California, Florida, New York, and Texas—revealed some interesting departures from the national average. In these states, like at the national level, the overall relative effect of immigration was positive on native workers. However, some subgroups in these states fared worse—particularly male workers with less than a high school degree.
You can read the full report here: http://www.epi.org/publications/entry/bp255/