Obama recently ended a decades old policy that allowed escapees from Communist Cuba to enter the United States without a visa. Known as “wet feet, dry feet,” it allowed Cubans who showed up at America’s borders to enter lawfully and earn an expedited green card. Cuba’s brutal Communist dictatorship, proximity to the United States, and history were the reasons for this relative openness. Obama sent a clear message to Cubans seeking freedom: stay away.
There has been a shift in our culture and how we perceive today’s job seekers. Two groups in particular are being mischaracterized: millennials and trade/vocational school students. It’s not clear how this started, but many people hold a low opinion of millennials. Forbes notes that the oldest millennials, born in 1981 according to Pew Research Center, just hit undeniable adulthood. And, at age 35, they should have it together.
As an entrepreneur, nothing gives me more gratification than speaking to colleges and business schools about pursuing a career in entrepreneurship, where innovation is the coin of the realm. I have built several businesses, so I must have some kind of an entrepreneurial gene that spurs my dedication to creating new opportunities and the American jobs that go with them.
The U.S. Labor Department announced job growth of 215,000 for March in line with expectations. Given a working-age population of over 200 million, it doesn’t seem to be a significant number of jobs. But 215,000 new jobs are the net increase of many moving parts. Annually, the U.S. creates a little less than 13 million jobs, but also destroys about 10 million jobs.
Years ago, you could pretty much identify the union dominated states, and understood the role they played in turning out votes for Democratic candidates. With West Virginia’s vote to become a right-to-work state, there are now more states embracing right-to-work (26) than those that remain dominated by unions.
I just gave the keynote address at a conference for high school administrators and teachers of career academies and vocational schools on Long Island, New York. It’s one I particularly enjoyed because I have been an enthusiastic advocate for technical and career schools for many years as they quickly and affordably prepare students for careers that command a living wage.
October 30, 2015 marked the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson signing the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. It removed the atrocious racial barriers in immigration law but also restricted economic migration — especially from the Western Hemisphere. We continue to struggle with its mixed legacy, particularly now that a spotlight is shining on our dysfunctional immigration system.
In June 2015, employers added 223,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell from 5.5 percent to 5.3 percent — the lowest rate since April 2008. In July, employers added another 215,000 jobs, but the unemployment rate stayed at 5.3 percent. Why would adding about the same number of jobs lower the unemployment in June but not in July? The primary reason: 432,000 people dropped out of the labor force in June and a much smaller number in July.
The recent Republican presidential debates marked the first serious start to the election cycle. Immigration dominated the first debate with each candidate scrambling to condemn illegal immigration more than the other. The bland bromides of support for “securing the border” and more immigration enforcement are out of date in 2015. The changing facts of immigration and our dynamic economy require an update.
Congress won’t pass immigration reform this year, but they will face a vote to reauthorize E-Verify, a government electronic enforcement program forced on some employers to screen new hires. E-Verify’s goal is to “[turn] off the jobs magnet that attracts so many illegal immigrants to the United States,” as Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) states. Smith is one of the program’s biggest supporters in Congress, trying to portray the program as “free, quick and easy to use.”
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