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Debunking the myth of the job-stealing immigrant

Professor Giovanni Peri of the University of California, Davis, has shown that immigrants tend to complement – rather than compete against – the existing work force.

According to the NY Times:

"Peri has found, immigrants with limited education perform many support tasks (moving heavy things, pouring cement, sweeping, painting), while citizens with more education focus on skilled work like carpentry, plumbing and electrical installation, as well as customer relations. The skilled native is able to focus on the most valuable tasks, while the immigrants help bring the price down for the overall project (it costs a lot to pay a highly trained carpenter to sweep up a work site). Peri argues, with strong evidence, that there are more native-born skilled craftspeople working today, not fewer, because of all those undocumented construction workers."

You can see the full article in the New York Times magazine here.