NC State Economist Mike Walden – “Foreign Workers and Pay”



Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at foreign workers and pay.  Mike, there’s been much discussion in the last couple of decades about the impact of foreign workers – particularly those who have entered the country – on the pay of domestic workers.  I think the prevailing thinking is that immigrants perhaps cause domestic wages to fall.  Is this what the research shows?


Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Some new research says no
  2. Prevailing thought was more foreign workers means more labor supply and lower wages
  3. New research focuses on foreign workers with science and math training
  4. Found actually they are associated with higher domestic wages
  5. Reason – are complements – allow work to be done in areas where workers are needed
  6. So economy grows, and with it, wages
  7. I’m MW



Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.