American wages are at an all-time high; growth is up 3% from 2018-2019 with a staggering 10% increase at the bottom of the labor market (low skilled). This has happened at a time when immigration has slumped. But are the two connected?
Net migration to America fell to around 600,000 in 2019, the lowest in a decade. The fall attributed to Mr. Trump’s policies, such as stricter border controls (his rhetoric on the topic has not helped). Yet as immigration in the lower half decreases, high skilled migration is actually on the rise. Many of which look to high tech jobs in silicon valley.
Labor demand is high, and unemployment is low at 3.6% — Giving labor-bargaining power to workers. State-level minimum wage is ever increasing, as well as wage growth in all rich countries.
The job market where low skilled immigrants take positions, housekeepers, grounds-maintenance, and building laborers have led to the most significant wage increases.
It’s important to note that short-term benefits like wage growth get out striped by the many positives of immigration. Countless economic studies find that immigration boosts innovation and entrepreneurship, not to mention the millions of trade links curated between countries.