Using data from the U.S. Census, the Pew Hispanic Center estimatedthat there were eight million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. labor force in 2010. The Migration Policy Institute estimated the number a bit lower — 6.4 million — in 2011, with retail trade employing 920,000, construction 910,000, agriculture 540,000 and manufacturing 520,000. Even using the lower Institute number, that means there is more than one undocumented worker for every one of the six million employers in the U.S.
Who is employing them all?
Well, a guy I’ve known for years is one. He owns an east-coast landscaping and plant business with around 100 employees, at least half of whom are undocumented Mexican immigrants.
About a dozen years ago, one of his biggest competitors started using undocumented Mexican laborers. At the time, the landscaper’s firm suffered high turnover and low productivity, and finding employees to do the actual landscaping — his company’s bread and butter — was difficult.