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American Jobs: Taken or Given?

I've studied psychology, criminal justice, addiction therapy, and journalism. I use my voice to help those who are not heard.

Let's get honest for a moment. The majority of immigrants in the United States do not work the jobs that the majority of Americans prefer to work. As a matter of fact, according to CBS News, "about 16.7 percent of America's employed is made up of immigrants." CBS News goes on to say that this is about "25 million people." There are 327.16 million people in America (World Population Review). So how exactly are American jobs being taken? Let's break this down further.

Immigrants and American Jobs: The Facts

Note: The following information was obtained from CBS News.

  • .04% of immigrants work in law
  • 0.9% of immigrants work in community and social services
  • 0.9% of immigrants work as first responders
  • 1.2% of immigrants work in scientific fields
  • 1.4% of immigrants work as athletes, artists, or entertainers
  • 1.8% of immigrants work as farmers, foresters, and fishermen
  • 2.2% of immigrants work as architects and engineers
  • 2.7% of immigrants work in healthcare
  • 3% of immigrants work as technicians and mechanics
  • 3.5% of immigrants work as librarians and teachers
  • 3.6% of immigrants work as financial experts and accountants
  • 4.3% of immigrants work as programmers and mathematicians
  • 4.3% of immigrants work in personal care services (service jobs, stylists, childcare, etc.)
  • 5.2% of immigrants work as healthcare specialists (surgeons, dentists, etc.)
  • 7.1% of immigrants work in the food service industry (busers, dish washers, cooks)
  • 7.5% of immigrants work in transportation
  • 7.9% of immigrants work as production workers (butchers, tailors, woodworkers, picking fruit, etc.)
  • 8% of immigrants work as administrative workers
  • 8.1% of immigrants work as managers
  • 8.4% of immigrants work as maintenance workers
  • 8.6% of immigrants work as sales people (cashiers, telemarketers, etc.)
  • 9% of immigrants work as construction workers

According these statistics, it is very easy to see that American jobs are not being taken by anyone. When the truth is splayed out in front of you, one can see that the majority of the jobs that immigrants work are the jobs that the majority of Americans prefer not to work. For instance, immigrants mainly do the jobs that require hard work (construction, picking fruit, busing tables, janitorial, etc.).

When people refer to jobs being "stolen" and/or "taken," it is important to look at the corporation. The corporation has the power and ability to outsource jobs to other countries, which allows other countries to work for them. These jobs are not stolen, they are given.

There are dozens of industries where immigrants are a tiny fraction of the workforce, and most immigrants work very difficult manual labor jobs that most Americans would not want to do.

There are dozens of industries where immigrants are a tiny fraction of the workforce, and most immigrants work very difficult manual labor jobs that most Americans would not want to do.

Outsourcing of American Jobs

American jobs are often outsourced by corporations such as Apple, Nike, Cisco Systems, Wal-Mart, IBM, Carrier, Morgan Stanley, Lowe's, GE, PG&E, AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft, Rexnord, QVC (Elliott. 2018), as well as President Donald J. Trump. Since the corporation is outsourcing, the corporation is basically selling American jobs to overseas industries that are willing to make the products at a lower cost than American companies are. This means that the jobs are given away, not stolen. China is not coming to America and taking production jobs overseas. They are given the jobs.

Look at the tag on your shirt, what does it say? Indonesia? China? Bangladesh? The majority of the time it does not say, "Made in America." This is due to the fact that Americans charge a higher rate to do the job. Our rate of living is higher priced than other countries, so we feel that we need more money in order to survive. That's not what this article is about, we'll save that for another day.

Outsourcing is not your fault, it's not mine, it's not even the country's fault that the jobs are sent to. The fault lies on the companies that send these jobs overseas in order to save money, so their pockets are lined with even more green. What I want you to take away from this is that American jobs are not being taken away, they are given away when they are outsourced. Outsourcing not only hurts Americans, it hurts the individuals that do the jobs overseas.

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Rather than blaming immigrants for "taking jobs," the companies are the guilty ones for outsourcing American jobs overseas to rake in bigger profits.

Rather than blaming immigrants for "taking jobs," the companies are the guilty ones for outsourcing American jobs overseas to rake in bigger profits.

Outsourcing Hurts

We've all heard the horrible stories about the iPhone factories in China that are surrounded by suicide nets. We've heard the stories of child labor in clothing factories, sweatshops, and workers having to live in the factory where they work. These stories sound like horror stories, but there is truth to the horror.

At an Longhua iPhone factory back in 2010, assembly line employees threw themselves off of the building as a form of protest due to the horrible working conditions of the factory. Instead of doing something about the inhumane treatment of the employees, the answer was to place a net around many of the buildings to prevent the employees from killing themselves in the future (Merchant, 2017).

Stories like this show how outsourcing hurts the individuals working the outsourced jobs. Some people fail to see how others that are not Americans are affected by outsourcing. It hurts on both sides. For instance, individuals that lose their jobs due to outsourcing feel the financial and emotional effects that these actions cause.

By outsourcing jobs, the US unemployment rate grows. This not only hurts the unemployed and his or her family, it hurts agencies that help financially, it hurts the community (because more individuals most likely lost jobs due to outsourcing if a company left the area), it puts added strain on the taxpayer (though not much, since the majority of taxes go to defense and war), and it weakens an already weakened nation.

"So, what jobs are outsourced," you may ask. The jobs that are primarily outsourced are:

  • Manufacturing
  • Human Resources
  • Call Centers
  • Tech
  • Clothing

Outsourcing jobs greatly affects America, as well as the countries that these jobs are sold to. While the "high ups" gain financial success due to lower production prices, lower wages, and cheaper products, the little people suffer. Americans gain unemployment, and employees overseas gain pressure and heartache. It's clear that jobs are not stolen or taken, they are sold for profit; and the ones selling do not care who they hurt along the way.


This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2019 Michelle Battle

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