POLITICS

10.8% unemployment not high enough for Marco Rubio

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Jobs,Marco Rubio,Unemployment

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has issued a statement responding to quotes from an unidentified aide of his in the New Yorker.

“The quote attributed to a member of my staff was a description of one argument used against big labor’s opposition to a guest worker program. It is not my view in any way. I could not disagree with it more,” Rubio told the Daily Caller. “My belief is that the American worker is the most productive worker in the world. The purpose of a guest worker program is not to replace Americans, but rather to provide workers in industries where their is a shortage of domestic workers.”

The New Yorker‘s Ryan Lizza had reported the following on the negotiations between Rubio and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on the Schumer-Rubio immigration bill:

The two biggest sticking points were wages for foreign workers (the unions wanted them to be higher) and the objections of the Building and Construction Trades union, which argues that plenty of Americans are looking for this kind of work. Rubio sided with the Chamber against the construction workers. ‘There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it,’ a Rubio aide told me. ‘There shouldn’t be a presumption that every American worker is a star performer. There are people who just can’t get it, can’t do it, don’t want to do it. And so you can’t obviously discuss that publicly.’

Unemployment in the construction industry is currently 10.8 percent, that is more than three points higher than the 7.6 percent unemployment rate for all sectors of the economy.

If there is a “a shortage of domestic workers” in construction, as Rubio himself said, then there is a shortage of workers in every industry.

Or, maybe Rubio’s guest worker program is just a way to take jobs from current Americans and force others to take lower pay.

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