LA Times Now Describing Illegal Aliens As 'Informal Workers' Who 'Labor Unofficially'

Via Weasel Zippers, we learned the Los Angeles Times has a new term for illegal aliens in the work force: they’re “informal workers,” and that doesn’t mean they don’t arrive on the job in a tuxedo.

Times reporter Tiffany Hsu (a "UC Berkeley grad") began her Saturday story with the new I-word (and illegal immigrants also “labored unofficially” in "gray employment"):

Informal workers are growing part of California’s economy — a shift keenly felt in the construction industry, where 1 in 6 workers is either off the books or misreported, new research has found.

Construction businesses in the state employ roughly 895,000 workers, according to a report by downtown Los Angeles research group Economic Roundtable that was released Sunday. In 2011, 143,900 of those workers labored unofficially...

In specialty trades such as drywall and flooring, a quarter of laborers are considered informal, according to the Economic Roundtable.

Construction in California is a $152-billion industry, one in which so-called gray employment has surged 400% since 1972. The upswing has been especially pronounced since the most recent recession because only two-thirds of the formal construction jobs that disappeared have since returned...

The Economic Roundtable report recommends a wage floor that allows informal and formal workers to be paid the same amount and also suggests that legislators enact policies that reward on-the-level contractors.

The headline on the website was "1 in 6 California construction workers labors in shadows, study finds."


PS: Speaking of disregarding law and order, Hsu recently relayed a Times interview with Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, where both reporters and the Obama official pushed for “banning the box” asking job applicants about their criminal record:

TIMES: Does the administration have a position on the effort to remove questions about past convictions from job applications?

PEREZ: I don’t know if we’ve articulated a formal position. I support ban-the-box movements. Baltimore city has a ban the box. I know [Los Angeles] Mayor [Eric] Garcetti supports it as well.

I think they’ve been proven to be very effective. And I think opponents sometimes mischaracterize those provisions and say, ‘Oh, well, the child care center has to hire a pedophile.’ Of course it doesn’t require that to happen. But what does happen is people can get through the process and be considered.

Baltimore city has it, and [Johns] Hopkins [University] is the most prolific employer in Maryland, not to mention Baltimore city. And it has not gotten in the way at all.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis