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Another Lou Dobbs’ head-popper…

28 February 2007

By Susan Ferriss

McClatchy Newspapers


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In a surprising new study with national implications, a University of California economist found that immigration boosted the average wages of the native-born worker in California by at least 4 percent between 1990 and 2004.

The boost in wages due to immigrants’ impact on the workplace is across the board, but higher for those with at least a high school diploma, according to the detailed analysis of 44 years of Census data on immigration and the workplace.

Native-born high school dropouts, who are assumed to have lost ground to immigrants in the workplace, have not suffered any wage losses as a group because of immigration, according to the study, which was produced by UC Davis associate professor Giovanni Peri for the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco.

“In fact, there has been a small up tick in their wages,” Peri said of native-born high school dropouts, who account for about 8 percent of the state’s native-born workers.

The gain in real wages for that group is less than 1 percent, Peri said, only 0.2 percent, “which is not much, but certainly not a negative.”

“These results,” Peri wrote in the report, “should certainly be taken into account by policy-makers as they consider immigration reform. The findings would seem to defuse one of the most inflammatory issues for those who advocate measures aimed at `protecting the livelihood of American citizens.'”

(full story:  Kansas City Star)


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