American teen employment has dropped 20 percent from the late 1980s, in part because more and more immigrants have flooded into the market to displace native-born kids from jobs in percentages far higher than on adults, according to the Federal Reserve.
"The displacement effect of immigration on the employment of younger persons is much larger than on the employment of prime-age adults," said the September 2014 report, "Labor Force Participation: Recent Developments and Future Prospects."
The Fed report is the second to blame immigrants for taking jobs "native" teens would normally fill and come as new media reports show teen employment down this year.
However, most of those media reports don't cite immigration as a cause or even cite last year's surge of over 70,000 illegal youths crossing over the U.S.-Mexico border.
A July 3 New York Times report on the issue, for example, didn't mention immigration even though the Federal Reserve last fall and in 2012 put a blame on immigration.
That omission prompted an immigration watchdog group to mock the Times for being political correct.
"It's frustratingly common: The mainstream media discusses a social problem obviously impacted by immigration — overcrowding, low wages, increasing poverty, etc. — but assiduously avoids any mention of immigration. To much of the media, using the word immigration in the context of any social problem has become a taboo, roughly equivalent to saying 'Voldemort' in a Hogwarts classroom," said the Center for Immigration Studies.
A 2012 Fed report said that just a 1 percent increase in low-skill immigration reduces native teenage work hours by 0.3 percent.
The abstract of that report written by a Fed economist read:
The employment to population rate of high school–aged youth has fallen by about 20 percentage points since the late 1980s. One potential explanation is increased competition from substitutable labor, such as immigrants. I demonstrate that the increase in the population of less educated immigrants has had a considerably more negative effect on employment outcomes for native youth than for native adults. At least two factors are at work: there is greater overlap between the jobs that youth and less educated adult immigrants traditionally do, and youth labor supply appears more responsive to immigration-induced wage changes.Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.