Donald Trump’s promise to grow the U.S. economy fast enough to create 25 million new jobs over the next decade is bound to win support among American workers. There’s only one problem with his pledge.
Without a wave of new immigrants entering the American workforce, Trump will have a hard time finding enough workers to fill those jobs.
In a post on his website, he promised to raise the growth of U.S. gross domestic product to 3.5 percent a year, nearly double the average pace so far this century. In his remarks, he suggested a 4 percent growth target was achievable.
“My great economists don’t want me to say this, but I think we can do better than that,” he said.
With a series of tax cuts and a moratorium on federal regulations, the GOP candidate promised that a Trump economy would also expand U.S. payrolls by 25 million new jobs over the next decade, harkening back to a period when the economy grew at a more rapid pace.
Moreover, Trump’s promise to close the door to new immigrants if he wins the election and immediately deport millions of undocumented workers would actually shrink the labor force.
In March, American Action Forum, led by former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, estimated it would take between $100 billion and $300 billion to arrest and remove “all undocumented immigrants residing in the country, a process that we estimate would take 20 years,” the group said.
AAF estimated the removal of that many people would shrink the pool of U.S. workers by 6.4 percent, which means that 20 years from now the U.S. economy would be nearly 6 percent cent smaller. That works out to a loss of $1.6 trillion in lost wages, spending and other economic activity.
To put that in perspective, the gross domestic product for Texas last year was about $1.5 trillion, second behind California.
While this impact would be felt across the country and throughout the economy, sectors such as agriculture, construction, retail and hospitality would be hardest hit, the AAF reported.
In fact, employers are already having a hard time filling some new positions, based on the latest government data, which is one reason wages have begun rising again after nearly a decade of stagnation.