All of Tennessee’s Job Growth Since 2000 Has Gone to Immigrants


On the surface, evidence seems to show the Volunteer State’s job market is gaining ground across the board. A recent Center for Immigration Studies analysis of Tennessee’s employment gains over the past 14 years, however, tells a different story.

According to the report, immigrants — both legal and illegal — account for all of the state’s job gains since 2000. In fact, even though immigrants were able to secure nearly 100,000 new jobs in that period, native-born citizens actually lost almost 50,000 positions.

Considering the fact that natives represented 60 percent of the population growth over that time, the trend is even more startling. The CIS report cited the undeniable lesson its analysis teaches.

“This undermines the argument that immigration increases job opportunities for natives.”

Steven Camarota, the center’s research director, wondered how Tennessean lawmakers could endorse pro-amnesty rhetoric that would only exacerbate the issues his study exposed.

“It’s remarkable that any political leader in Tennessee would support legislation that would increase the number of foreign workers allowed into the country, given the relatively weak job growth in the state and the large share of working-age people not working.”


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