The backlash against immigrants and unauthorized workers has reached a fever pitch, with the same old they're "taking American jobs" rhetoric. But the reality, economists say, is that immigrants made up just 17.1 percent of the U.S. workforce in 2014, or about 27.6 million workers out of 161.4 million, and a small portion (5 percent) were undocumented immigrants. Many jobs held by immigrants are low-paid or seasonal, which others often don't want; some are high-paying tech jobs available by visa that many Americans lack the skills to take.
The Pew Center offers some numbers on jobs with high numbers of immigrant workers, though in other industries the effect is anecdotal. All told, undocumented workers account for about 3 percent of the GDP, according to a study by Queens College professor Francesc Ortega, who warns that deporting millions of undocumented immigrants could create job losses not seen since the Great Recession.