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Labor Force Projections are Linked to Immigration Projections

Labor Force Projections are Linked to Immigration Projections

Posted by Natalia Smirnova on Feb 14, 2017 10:11 am

In the BLS report "A Look at the Future of the U.S. Labor Force to 2060" there are assumptions about the immigration flow that affect the projection of the labor force participation. Slide 2 of the BLS presentation shows that labor force is projected to decline drastically by 2060.

Here is the link to the article: https://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2016/a-look-at-the-future-of-the-us-labor-force-to-2060/home.htm
You can also download a pdf of the report.
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Natalia V. Smirnova

Re: Labor Force Projections are Linked to Immigration Projections

Posted by Katy Delay on Feb 15, 2017 1:45 pm

Thanks, Natalia.  I love the format of the BLS report.  Very nice charts.  

I do have a problem with its content, however.  How in the world can anyone, especially a nonpartisan and scientific research body like the BLS, make any projections about future US immigration when the underlying stats about the future immigration rate can only be speculative? The Bureau may not have intended to make such projections, but their beautiful charts point in that direction, as you point out, whether they intended them to or not.

The exclusive use of these particular stats in these charts is a tiny bit deceptive, in my opinion, because most people will (as I did) look at the charts and not at the underlying research; and after looking at the charts they (if they are like me) will get the distinct impression that the US is headed for slower growth and perhaps even a reduced standard of living because of perceived or assumed current sentiments against immigration.  

So I see two hicks with this report: 

(1) The charts, which are the most publicly visible aspect of their research, only treat one side of the picture, i.e. the circumstance where immigration slows.  I speculate that this is based upon perceived public sentiments that Americans want immigration to slow.  However, this perception could definitely be a mistaken assumption, and if it is, it renders the report defective in my view, especially coming from a supposedly nonpartisan government institution.  Hopefully, the actual research was more complete, but then why would they choose only to display these charts?

(2) In contrast to the BLS's apparent assumption in their charts, I see no concrete signs that the US will digress in terms of legal immigration in future–lots of rumors, but no real evidence.  On the contrary, I do believe that most Americans understand the positive impact of a sane immigration policy. I do see a rise in general and significant sentiments against illegal immigration.  But better control of our borders has nothing to do with legal immigration, except perhaps in the minds of a small minority and in the minds of those who fear the worst.

So in my opinion, beautiful charts, unscientific reporting.  
 

Re: Labor Force Projections are Linked to Immigration Projections

Posted by John McGuirt on Feb 16, 2017 8:59 am

This BLS report may seem esoteric, but it's not.  It only takes about 5 minutes to view it, so it's worth a look.  Things like this have the potential to guide national policy.

Katy makes some excellent points.  We've often got to think beyond what we see on the surface.  I believe the forces of polical correctness are having a significant impact on how so called "data" is acquired or presented.  We've got to watch these things like a hawk.  

Re: Labor Force Projections are Linked to Immigration Projections

Posted by Natalia Smirnova on Feb 17, 2017 9:52 am

Dear Katy and John,

Thank you for commenting on my post. I think your criticisms of the report are valid.
I am enjoying uncovering various publications and articles, and then have you "watch them like a hawk".

Best, Natalia
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Natalia V. Smirnova

Re: Labor Force Projections are Linked to Immigration Projections

Posted by Katy Delay on Feb 17, 2017 12:15 pm

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