Monday, April 30, 2012

No evidence that immigration bill helps employ Alabama workers

     A local newspaper article says politicians who supported HB56, Alabama's "toughest in the nation" immigration laws claim that Alabama's decreasing unemployment rate is due to some provisions going into effect last October.
     "If you compare our unemployment rate drop to the region, our drop was much more quick," said State Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, one of the chief proponents of HB56.
     There is no evidence that the immigration laws are tied to a drop in the unemployment rate.  Employment rates in Alabama, in fact, are flat and some economic sectors, such as construction, are still losing jobs.
     Economists say the drop in the unemployment rate is likely due to more people dropping out of the workforce, or becoming discouraged and not looking for work.
     "The proponents of the immigration law really have no solid, defendable, reasonable evidence other than the desire to link those two together," said one Alabama economist.
     Since October 2011, Alabama has added a net total of 1,700 nonfarm jobs.  Total nonfarm employment in March 2012 was exactly where it was in March 2011.

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