Business groups may point to the low unemployment rate as they lobby for more foreign workers, but unemployment statistics obscure the enormous number of people who are out of the labor market entirely and therefore do not show up as ‘unemployed’. There is a large pool of potential workers in the country who could fill jobs that require modest education.

Immigrants and Natives Not in the Labor Force:In the fourth quarter of 2018, there were a total 47.6 million immigrants and natives ages 18 to 64 not in the labor force (all education levels), up from 42.1 million in 2007 and 36.6 million in 2000.
Of the 47.6 million currently not in the labor force, 37.7 million (79.4 percent) did not have a bachelor’s degree.
The above figures do not include the unemployed, who are considered to be part of the labor force because, although they are not working, they are looking for work. There were 5.8 million unemployed immigrants and natives in the fourth quarter of this year; more than three-fourths of the unemployed do not have a bachelor’s degree.
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