April 7, 2019

CHANGE: How Trump’s border policies are boosting wage growth.

Trump hasn’t officially agreed to raise the federal minimum wage above its current level of $7.25 an hour, but then again, he doesn’t have to. His policies are doing it all for him — including restricting illegal immigration.

A piece by The New York Times highlighted what’s happening in construction, where a labor shortage is pushing worker salaries to something like $25 an hour. But because the Times can’t stand to give Trump any credit, the story was framed that this shortage was a bad thing, a terrible burden for wealthy construction companies and contractors. What hypocrisy.

We can argue about efficacies of wall building in curtailing illegal immigration another time, but the numbers don’t lie: Friday’s employment report showed continued jobs gains and, lo and ­behold, a continued increase in wages. And not for hedge-fund managers, the report showed, but in those industries that employ the vast working class, such as health care, what’s known as leisure and hospitality and, of course, construction.

For years wages and benefits have remained stagnant on the low end despite all efforts by progressives from former President Barack Obama and various elected officials to increase the minimum wage and force employers to offer workers additional perks.

Now that’s changing. Wages and benefits are rising as businesses scramble to find workers in construction, health care and other industries. Government-induced minimum-wage standards and benefits often force employers to cut their payrolls to make a profit. But that’s not what’s happening now. Businesses are growing because of the Trump administration is cutting regulations, and taxes and the labor pool on the low end. . . .

The numbers don’t lie: The double whammy of lower taxes and a decline in the importing of low-wage illegal workers is making life better for the blue collar. The left loves to portray the president as xenophobic, but how is any of this racist if the beneficiaries are minorities and legal immigrants who often work in these jobs and are no longer worried about being replaced by an endless flow of cheap labor?

Pretty positive stuff from Gasparino, who’s no Trump fan.

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