Labor shortages have benefited low wage immigrant workers


The average wage of hourly workers, which rose prior to the pandemic, rose by 20% between 2020 and January 2023, reflecting labor shortages in an economy flush with money. The average wage of restaurant workers is over $15. This has benefited low wage immigrant workers.

The Wall Street Journal reports “U.S. Business Owners Pay Premium to Hire Migrant Workers in Extremely Tight Labor Market Employers, struggling to fill hourly wage jobs in construction, restaurants and other services, are offering higher pay and better working conditions to people coming to the U.S. to work; ‘The scarcity is huge’ “

An indication of the increased earning of immigrant workers is that remittances to Latin America grew more than 9% in 2022 to $142 billion.

Migrant construction laborers in the Washington area made on average $120 a day before the pandemic. That has since risen more than 60% to about $200 a day, said Lenin Cálix, an Ecuadorean migrant who belongs to the United Workers of Washington D.C., which provides training and legal support and aims to ensure newly arrived migrants aren’t paid below market rates. Hourly pay for all U.S. construction workers has risen about 15% since late 2019, according to the Labor Department.

Here is a GAO study done in 2020 about strains on the temporary non-agriculture worker visa, designed for manual labor.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *