Limited English Limits Job Prospects

Miriam Jordan, Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2014

Almost one in 10 adults of working age in the U.S. has limited proficiency in English, more than 2.5 times as many as in 1980, curbing their job prospects and ability to contribute to the economy.

Two-thirds of the 19.2 million people who have limited English are Spanish speakers. However, Asians and Pacific Islanders are most likely to have limited proficiency relative to their size of the overall population, according to a new report produced by the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution.

Immigrant workers and their children will account for most of the growth in the U.S. labor force in the coming decades, independent projections show. Therefore, investing in English instruction is “critical to building and maintaining a skilled workforce,” the study by the progressive Washington-based think tank says.


About 45 million people in the U.S., or more than 20% of working-age adults–defined as those 16 to 64 years old–speak a language other than English at home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While more than half of them speak English very well, many of them struggle.


While most English-limited adults live in large metropolitan areas, traditional magnets for immigrants, their numbers have grown markedly in smaller metropolitan areas that more recently began to absorb Latin American immigrants and refugees from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

In Los Angeles and Miami, about a quarter of the working-age population has limited English. In greater New York, limited-English residents account for 18% of the population.

Smaller cities, such as Indianapolis and Omaha, Neb., are for the first time facing the challenges of a sizable group with limited English. In Indianapolis, the limited-English population jumped 99% between 2000 and 2012; in greater Omaha, that population surged 95% during that period, the study showed.


Demand for free or low-cost English classes outstrips supply in Boston, Los Angeles and many other cities. Educational access is a barrier for immigrants who can’t afford to pay for classes, and federal and state funding hasn’t kept pace with the influx of immigrants, the report says.


Because not all immigrants have limited English and proficiency improves over time, the population that isn’t proficient hasn’t grown as rapidly as the overall foreign-born population. Despite the fact that the share of the foreign working-age population climbed to 16% in 2012 from 7% in 1980, the proportion with limited English was 9.3% in 2012, the report says.


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  • This is wrong in one way: They forget about all the “bilingual preferred” job bids which are code words for “whites need not apply.”

  • D.B. Cooper

    No worries here. It’s nothing that some Affirmative Action can’t take care of. A lot of white boys in this country have been castrated, so don’t expect much of a fight from them.

    • Sam_Bowdin

      I hear ya. Problem is too many of our own people will throw us in jail, let alone take our jobs.

      • Samuel Hathaway

        A perverted, twisted form of “White Privilege.” Those scum whites who see virtue in humiliating and outing “racists”, seek a special form of privileged social standing among blacks and Hispanics.

        • John R

          I always tried to explain the pathology of liberalism. The best I have come up with is this: It is hard to gain respect from your peers and equals. It is much easier to gain recognition by turning against your own and hoping to gain the admiration of inferiors.

        • Sam_Bowdin

          I hope France has some left over guillotines.

  • anony

    The “Tower of Babel” syndrome is only one of the many symptoms that “our” country is “gone with the wind”.

    Time for a “gathering”.

  • Periapsis

    What is not being spoken of is the growing number of jobs whites are barred from because they do not speak Spanish, or other alien tongues they should not be forced to speak in their own rightful homeland.

    • Sam_Bowdin


    • willbest

      You mean Foreman

    • ZB01

      Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! Comment of the day! Elephant in the living room! I have frequently thought that jobs which require bilingualism, Spanish particularly, are advertised that way so as to express in coded language, a preference for applicants who are not White.

    • The Worlds Scapegoat

      Or because whites cannot [sic] understand the plight of the minority.

      Or because white men can’t understand the plight of woman.

      Or because of some other racist anti-white reason.


    • Ngati Pakeha

      That’s what always got me about this need to speak Spanish. I did Spanish in college and it was next to useless in Mexico and Central America as even the locals don’t speak it properly. The only ones who do, as a general rule, are the professionals and educated class that really have no need to ‘walk across the border’. Oh, and if you hadn’t guessed, I’m talking about the White people in Mexico etc. The ‘River Waders’ have a proficiency in Spanish that equates to Ebonics. I know this is slightly off your topic Periapsis but sometimes context is everything.

  • Who does Miriam Jordan think she’s kidding? These greaseritos are not here to work.

  • Fed Up

    What a crock! Have we forgotten those free night school English language courses? Or the reality that certainly the great majority of English-challenged immigrants also have little or no relevant job experience to offer? A goofy Latino who can do little more than offer a stupid grin if asked a question — is hardly likely to be named the Manager at the local Home Depot or Wal-Mart.

    I moved to an area where Latinos and Blacks just barely register in the local demographics. I LOVE IT! Compared to national crime rates — our local crime rate is a fraction of the national rate. You go to a store — white folks — who speak my language — take care of my needs. It’s like a different world compared to Houston where I spent 35 years of my life.

    • Jessica Lee

      Which way to Heaven?

    • saxonsun


  • “Almost one in 10 adults of working age in the U.S. has limited proficiency in English.”

    Well now, there’s a howler. It’s easily 50% or more.
    Or perhaps standards have been lowered again?

  • A Freespeechzone

    Many just don’t want to learn English and integrate into the fabric of America; like many Hispanics, Asians & Russians, they prefer to be separate.

    When WE try to remain separate and associate with our own; we are persecuted.

    Go figure.

    • There are huge swatches of California were Hispanics have no use (or need) for the English language. EVERYTHING is Spanish – just like home.

      • kikz2

        i know…..the obnoxious liberal ciiiiialllliforrrrrneeeeeeeianz have all freakin moved to TexASS….. oh god.. to hear them in the grocery store, or be behind them in line somewhere.. my eyes glaze over… as my ears bleed.. from that yankeeeeee tweeeeeeeng…. and like we didn’t know they were from Ceeeeliiiiieeeeee…. soooooo soooopeeeeeerrrriuuuurrr …… in thoooowwwaght, deiiiiiiiiiid, ind….meiner… i wanna hurl…… and loud. OMG… do these people have no concept of “inside voices”??????????????????? i guess they’re just overjoyed to be around Whites/English.. they could just piss themselves……..

      • Samuel Hathaway

        Portions of Miami, FL are the same way. Hispano-Supremacista, Latino-Power hatemonger Jorge Ramos of Univision brags about how he can live 24-7 without speaking a word of English in his vicinity. His sidekick on the 6:30 national news is the very white, very beautiful but very evil Elena Salinas. She’s the same way. But she giggles about speaking “Spanglish” at home.

    • Periapsis

      Russians are not interested in setting up Russia 2.0, but they do speak English here. I have a Russian family for neighbors, their three boys are growing up as Americans, not Russians. I have Russian and Ukrainian blood, but I was raised as an American. Russians who emigrate here by and large assimilate, or at least learn the local language and culture. Mexicans and Asians for the most part do not.

  • WR_the_realist

    Gee, and which “right wing” (actually neocon) newspaper has for years been promoting the open borders and illegal immigration that has caused this problem? The Wall Street Journal.

    • evilsandmich

      Just another open sewer stream of thought from the WSJ. I’m sure they think that a handful of English classes are all that’s keeping the next gen of aeronautical engineers from showing up.

  • 48224

    “One in ten working-age adults in the US cannot speak proficient English”….and most of them were born and raised in Detroit.

    • The authors were being kind (and dishonest).
      1 in 10 is low; 3 in 10 is more like it.

      • Magician

        Option 1 – Spanish
        Option 2 – Chinese
        Option 3 – Ebonics
        Option 4 – Arabic
        Option 5 – English

        • Alexandra1973

          My ideal menu:

          1 for English
          2 for any other language

          Press 2 and either you’ll get a message that says “Call back when you’ve learned English” or better yet get hung up on.

          • Magician

            Ha! Ha!

        • Tom_in_Miami

          We here in Miami also get treated to the beautiful Haitian Creole. There is an hour of it every nigh on National Public Radio.

  • Alucard_the_last

    The sad fact is that a good percentage are black, not immigrants.

  • kikz2

    it may limit job prospects, but that qualifier certainly doesn’t apply at most universities, and suppossed institutions of higher learning.. for faculty or student body….especially in the humanities/diversity/perpetually-professionally offended sKoolz of thought.

  • Luca

    We also have a large African-American population that has been struggling with English for 400 years now.

    • Ngati Pakeha

      A bit more patience Luca. Jenteal and Shitavious will eventually get there.

  • Simonetta

    Of course since the ‘limited English’ population are watching television all the time they might consider switching on the closed-caption option that displays English text as it is being spoken. Assuming that they can read European language written characters.

    Or the Spanish speakers who only watch UniVision in Spanish could request that Univision actually translate the dialog of their programs into English and include the option of displaying the dialog in both languages while they’re watching endless telenovelas. I really wouldn’t be all that hard:

    Oh my darling, I love you.
    But, I love my husband.
    He’s not here now, but I am.
    I insist that you go away! You are a beast for making me feel this way!
    I am a man and you are a woman. We are as God made us.
    Oh my love, I love you, but I hate you!

    yadda, yadda, yadda, Year in, year out.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    English isn’t needed for unskilled, grunt work. And there’s no reason to suppose Hispanics aspire for anything more. The cleaning lady in my office from El Salvador speaks only limited English phrases. She otherwise uses hand motions trying to explain herself.

    I asked her how long she’s lived in the United States. She told me 22 years. She clearly has no interest in learning English, and hence, no interest in reading about our history. She deserves absolutely nothing more than cleaning the break room, picking up the wastebaskets and mopping the bathroom floors.

    • IstvanIN

      And quite frankly not even that much.

    • OS-Q

      Some Mexicans don’t even bother to learn Spanish

    • Mark

      Whatever she deserves is waiting for her in El Salvador. We owe her nothing!

    • M&S

      But that’s not how it works. Get enough people together who bemoan their status amongst themselves and you create an environment where _numbers count_, in demanding more.

      That this environment is reinforced and largely protected by dialectic Spanish spoken beyond the contextual ability of eavesdropped oversight makes it less a union meeting than a revolution in progress.

      Has no one EVER WONDERED how it was that the poorest among the Mexican natives, the darkest skinned, led by ONE MAN to Revolution suddenly became a white led cronyist aristocracy within a few generations?

      To the point where, today, the same condition of color continuum Casta` existence, as was predominant in the era of the Dons and there great estates?

      You create a revolutionary atmosphere by amassing a sufficient underclass that demands an increase or elevation in their social station and then the rich flee, just long enough for the middle class wealth class wannabes, to be crushed like a sacrificial shock absorber, leaving once more, only the very wealthy and the very poor as assurance of limited allocation of restricted resources.

      What the present day white liberals don’t understand is that, by making these people _of another race_ which breeds like crazy and maintains ethnic identity inherent to language-thought memetic processes as much as skin color within their own cultural isolate, they have created a time bomb by which they ensure that, killing off the middle class will simply not be enough.

      As for ‘English not being necessary’, I couldn’t agree more.

      Because we have destroyed our industrial base and turn America into an office landscape of paperwork production as ‘service economy’ there is no need for interpolative problem solving as once was necessary in a working economy.

      My problem is that I would rather continue to empower a genetically loyal population, not likely to have a month long Krystalnacht when they don’t get their desired wealth/power/equality increases. And the way you do that is by hiring a white guy to clean your waste baskets and too few are willing to demean themselves doing that.

      But they _wouldn’t be so_ if they had an employee pool of labor robots that cost 2,500 dollars a year to maintain and whose wealth production was one of large-contract labor /replacement/ of the ditch digger class as a whole.

      This is the real problem inherent to the importation of the genetically impoverished, culturally insular, populations of the world to be wage slave replacements for white equivalent workers.

      You destroy the ability of lower class whites to compete in a work environment which removes the ditch digger (high neuro motor vs. neuro cognitive empowerment) class _as a group_ from our racial subspecies.

      It is the latter which marks true evolution in a people, away from the barbaric and towards a speciation point of higher cognitive base capabilities.

      And thanks to the insistence upon Western guilt for world backwardness as an attempt to lever the planet, OUR chance for an evolutionary spring, a metamorphosis social as well as genetic, into a new rebirth, is being _lost to us_.

      And that isn’t fair but it is an obvious spoiling tactic for those whose envy and fear of us marches in step with their desire to be as we are and they are (genetically) not capable of being.

      Crime rates show it. Education levels show it. Life success levels show it.

      America has some 2.3 million people incarcerated, more than twice the number of the next runner up, totalitarian China, with three times our total population count. If the average cost of incarceration is 24,000 per year for a low security and 40,000 per year for high security, then assuming a 70-30 split still leads to 38.64 billion plus 27.6 billion or 66.24 billion dollars per year that IS NOT going to the Space Program.

      Space being the truest source for relief of a restricted environmental resource and habitat competition endgame. The sadness being that when we stopped buying Russian rocket motors for our satellite boosters, people acted shocked that the U.S. no longer maintained a home designed capability for space launch.

      When in fact, they should be disappointed that the space launch capabilities we have would be easily recognizeable to Robert Goddard or Werner Von Braun as the artifacts of 70 year old propulsion technology that _will not_ take us to the outer reaches of our own solar system, let alone to the stars.

      Dump the ditch digger class genetics. Remove the social support network for same. And the money which you waste on that kind of existence is instantly transferrable to things which can continue to push us up and out from our currently running-in-place social condition.

      Fail to do so and you guarantee we will be overrun by the R-breeding populations who have long since fallen into permanent entropy.

      Why does nobody among the ‘smart whites’ SEE THIS?!

      • Samuel Hathaway

        Thank you for your profound insights, M&S. I will be saving your writing here to review for reference. I read through it once and a few paragraphs twice, haven’t quite absorbed it all, but you are very perceptive and have a look on things I’ve rarely seen from anyone else. thanks again…. Sam.

  • JohnEngelman

    The waitresses at a nearby Mexican restaurant cannot speak English. I don’t care because they are pretty.

    Unfortunately, I have forgotten the Spanish I learned in high school.

    • Alexandra1973

      I graduated in 1991 and while I’m not as great with coming up with Spanish words (though it should be easier since everything’s in at least two languages nowadays), I can still read Spanish.

      I can also read quite a bit of French since I had one year of it. I had Spanish for six years, from 7th grade on through high school.

    • The Worlds Scapegoat



    • kikz2

      all you need to know.. is …. gracis, mama cita….. thank you little mama..

    • M&S

      Why can you not see that your quaint anecdotal enforcement of ‘what titillates my libido doesn’t have to challenge my wit’ has no relevance to a social condition whose bigger picture is that of the economy failing, the restaurant closing and White, Western, Culture CEASING TO BE because we have put so much emphasis on supporting the working class wage slaves that we have forgotten that such is not who we want to be ourselves?
      Societies reflect the genetic algorithm of their dominant populations. That includes economic strength and human rights. Both of which, in Mexico, exists at the level of Failed State status.
      Which is why Mexico City, with a population of over 21 million, third largest urban area on the planet, is 50% ‘Colonia’.
      What we would call a lawless ghetto or slum.
      Invite the viral disease of an R-Bred culture inside your K-Bred lands and feed it in the petri dish of Western largesse and then act surprised when you get sick ‘eating local’??
      And you call yourself a smart man.

  • NoMosqueHere

    Obama will need initiate a bodega building plan in order to employ these folks.

  • LHathaway

    Reality: bilingual preferences limit English speaking American’s employment opportunities. Concerns about workplace status in our ‘global economy’ paramount.

    Newspaper: Employment standards unfair to immigrants/non-whites.

    • M&S

      Public Consumption unemployment: 9%
      Real world (no longer trying) unemployment: 16%
      Real world plus working less than 30hrs a week ideal employment: 21%
      The lie of capitalism is one of thermodynamics.
      You can never get more Work Product out of a system than you put Energy as resources into it. Capitalists who exist to support an artificial, virtual, filter of access to resources through a paper currency system whose innate value is it’s portability and scaleability (i.e. anything your want it to be since it has no worth of it’s own) look at economics as a function of an artificial pursuit of ‘capital investment = capital gain’ buildable stacks of 1s and 0s as paper money.
      They never look at the reality of what makes K-Bred, high intelligence, societies sustainable which is the very low quantity of total population around which resources must be allocated as a whole.
      They want the Ferrari and the million dollar home as a process ownership investment portfolio which lets them retire at 40. And they can only get it by spreading the rest of the national resources around more thinly for the rest of us as a function of enabling a wage slave population whose ultra low standards of living means they can be -paid less- while -buying more- (R-Breeding group again) to give them the profit margins which allow them to live large.
      But the resources are still fixed. And the fallback to entropy as populations consume and pollute becomes ever more terrible in it’s outcomes of Malthusian deficit.

      • LHathaway

        So 46% of those who should be able to work are working full time? My, those rich K-breds better get on this and figure out a way to get more of us working.

  • Reverend Bacon

    Go to any airport in the US, and you’re sure to hear gate announcements from people who can’t speak English.

    I’d say that if Siri can’t understand you, you don’t get the job.

  • I don’t think Corporate America really cares if Illegal Immigrants can’t speak English. Slaves don’t have to speak English and modern slavery is called Illegal Immigrants these days. Oh but remember Democrats, Republicans, and the Super Rich at Corporate America love “Diversity” and want Illegal Immigration. They don’t mention it’s because their being used like the days of old to make them work for nothing while putting Americans out of work.

    • Epiminondas

      Plus Corporate America’s cowardice in the face of the 60s radicals led to the destruction of the black labor force we already had. These rich whites then turned around and imported yet another class of wage slave to replace the ones they had “liberated”. Now we get to pay for both, because blacks no longer contribute that much to the wealth of our nation.

      • That’s right. It’s a race to the bottom. Went from African Americans – Illegal Immigrants – then Outsourced the jobs to third world nations. Those workers will literally work for slave wages and don’t have the same workforce standards as here in the USA. However I’m seeing a new trend these days. The increasing “prison population” workforce the old fashioned way. Working those in Jail at public events, concerts, town festivals, and things like that. Their literally slaves in the workforce now.

  • christine

    Mathematical concepts are pretty standard internationally. Oh, they are deficient in math too? And science? And skilled labor? Yet they still think their lack of English is the only reason their job prospects are limited?

  • Chasmania

    The obvious answer – from the politicians standpoint – is to bring in more and more Spanish speakers so that they can get rid of all those working class English speakers.

    No more English: No more problem.

  • Epiminondas

    Me, too. I know who the Quislings in my town are.

  • Tom_in_Miami

    In Miami it works the other way. You can’t get a job if you don’t speak Spanish and have a cousin named Pedro. My son called a Domino’s the other night and got hung up on because he couldn’t tell the employee in Spanish what he wanted. I speak Spanish, so I called up and asked if anyone in the store could speak English. The answer was no. I asked for the manager and found that I was speaking to him. These people will not assimilate.

    • texasoysterman

      Myself, I wouldn’t want a pizza prepared by a crew of non-english speakers. Their standards (lack of) of cleanliness are questionable. Of course, most Dominos are probably not pristine.
      Make your pizza at home. It’s safer.

      • Chasmania

        They are not raised with an awareness of the importance of cleanliness as we are. Hand washing – and the need for it – isn’t something that is natural to them, so it is easily forgotten and dismissed. Same goes with any form and method of sanitizing.

        I recall watching a news report about how the housekeeping staff at a hotel ( all of whom were Hispanic ) were secretly filmed wiping down the drinking glasses, counter tops, etc… with the same rag they used to clean the toilets. When confronted they were so very sorry, they had just forgotten ! Promises of more training was given by the management, as if that’s going to “fix” the problem.

  • Raymond Kidwell

    I really think any white person that wants to become racially or ethnically conscious should build a community with its own language. I see countless Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Spanish etc. “churches” that cater to a specific ethnicity and language. There are also black churches. If I go around these churches, unless I was dating a woman that is of the right ethnicity they wouldn’t accept me. It’s clear racism but every white church bends over backwards to pump in more non-whites. I think language is purposely kept in these communities in order to preserve their ethnicity. Many are second and third generation americans born and raised here who consider some language other than English as their first language. Most are bi-lingual.

    I mean if you really wanted to create a PLE I think your community should adopt some language like German or Portuguese, Swedish, Latin, whatever. Doesn’t really matter so long as few people in the main population speak it. It is time consuming, boring and a lot of work to learn a second language so I guess few people would do it.

    Besides that most people I meet who speak English poorly only speak one language- English. I would say low I.Q. plays a role in why so many people aren’t functionally literate, can’t speak proper English etc.

  • John R

    So, limited English reduces job prospects? So we should import more immigrants who speak limited or no English? Yeah, makes sense…..

  • Earl Turner

    Here in Macon, GA it is 6 in 10. Sad thing is, most of us White Folk have grown up “bilingual” in that we can actually understand the gibberish that the Basketball Americans around here speak.

  • Paleoconn

    Gee, what a shock! Not speaking the native tongue hurts your chances of success. What a racist country!

  • John Smith

    From my times going into the “hood,” I know a large number of these people are native-born. I never could figure out if the counter man at Arthur Bryant’s had my order right when he spoke to me, among other places.