National Data | July Jobs: We Unveil Our New American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI)—And Ask (Again): Why No Immigration Moratorium?

The stock market crashes, London is burning, America is seared by black flashmobs—and U.S. unemployment remains ominously high. But still no Establishment mention of immigration dimension.

 

The economy added 117,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 9.1%, the government said Friday.

 

But to put that in perspective, the U.S. is currently issuing an average of about 95,000 green cards a month—say 75,000 immigrants entering the labor market, subtracting those too old or too young to work. (See U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2009, by Randall Monger. U.S. Department of Homeland  Security.) Of course, this doesn’t count illegal aliens—who hold some eight million jobs at the Pew Hispanic Center`s  conservative estimate  —or the children of immigrants, counted as “Americans” by the census bureau even if their parents are illegals.

House Majority leader John Boehner’s reaction was standard GOP boilerplate with no mention of immigration:

“Today’s unemployment report is more proof that all of the Washington spending, taxing, and regulating is devastating our economy. While the American people are asking ‘where are the jobs?’ the Democrats running Washington are determined to punish small businesses with higher taxes and more red tape — including hundreds of new regulations last month alone — and to keep their spending binge going at all costs.” U.S. job market’s weakness subsiding: analysts, MarketWatch, August 5, 2011 

VDARE.com has been monitoring immigrant displacement of American workers since 2001, using Hispanic employment as a proxy for immigrants to construct our VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI.) As of June 2011, VDAWDI stood at a record 127.8—meaning that immigrant/ Hispanic employment had grown nearly 30% faster than native-born employment since 2001. (In fact, in absolute terms, fewer native-born Americans are working than in January 2001). The government periodically issued data directly on foreign workers, which confirmed VDAWDI, even suggesting that if anything it was too conservative.

Since January 2010, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has published monthly job figures for immigrant and native-born workers. These data are not seasonally adjusted, making month to month trends difficult to interpret. BLS resolves the dilemma by comparing the current month with the same month of the prior year.

July marked the second consecutive month in natives gained jobs at a faster clip than immigrants – at least when compared to the same month of the prior year:

Employment Status by Nativity, July 2010-July 2011

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

 

Jul-10

Jul-11

Change

% Change

 

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

36,207

36,576

369

1.0%

Civilian labor force

24,586

24,516

-70

-0.3%

     Participation rate (%)

67.9%

67.0%

-0.9%

-1.3%

Employed

22,249

22,264

15

0.1%

Employment/population %

61.5%

60.9%

-0.6%

-1.0%

Unemployed

2,337

2,252

-85

-3.6%

     Unemployment rate (%)

9.5%

9.2%

-0.3%

-3.2%

Not in labor force

11,621

12,060

439

3.8%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

201,683

203,095

1,412

0.7%

Civilian labor force

130,684

130,296

-388

-0.3%

     Participation rate (%)

64.8%

64.2%

-0.6%

-0.9%

Employed

117,884

118,120

236

0.2%

Employment/population %

58.5%

58.2%

-0.3%

-0.5%

Unemployed

12,800

12,176

-624

-4.9%

     Unemployment rate (%)

9.8%

9.3%

-0.5%

-5.1%

Not in labor force

70,999

72,799

1,800

2.5%

Source: BLS, “The Employment Situation – July 2011,” August 5, 2011. Table A-7.

PDF 

 Over the past 12 months:

  • Immigrants gained 15,000 jobs, a miniscule 0.1% increase; but natives did not fare much better, gaining 236,000 positions – a 0.2 percent rise. ADVANTAGE NATIVES
  • Labor force participation rates fell by 0.9 points for immigrants and 0.6 points for natives. ADVANTAGE NATIVES
  • The share of immigrants holding jobs fell by 0.6%; the share of natives holding jobs fell by 0.3%. ADVANTAGE NATIVES
  • The immigrant working age population increased by 1.0%; the comparable native population increased by 0.7%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS 

January 2009—the month President Obama took office—is also the earliest month of data published in BLS’s foreign and native-born employment table. Coincidence or not, this means we can piece together the monthly points to see the President’s priorities, or at least his practical effect.

Setting the January 2009 employment index at 100.0 for both natives and immigrants, immigrant employment rose to 102.1 in July 2011, while native unemployment sank to 97.9. Put differently, for every immigrant worker in January 2009 there are now 1.021 immigrants working; for every native there are now only 0.979. The ratio of the two figures – 1.021/ 0.979 – equals 1.050.

The ratio of immigrant to native employment indexes – which we call the “The New VDAWDI” (NVAWDI) was thus 105.0 in July. It had been 105.2 in June.

Bottom line: In all but a few months of the Obama Administration native-born workers have lost ground to immigrants.

This raises the question: why isn’t an immigration moratorium on Mr. Boehner’s laundry list?

Does he have any other new ideas?

End note: we’re going to continue publishing our Old VDAWDI because it tracks Hispanic (immigrant and non-immigrant) employment. We will be adding series on white and black employment.

Edwin S. Rubenstein (email him) is President of ESR Research Economic Consultants in Indianapolis.