National Data | January Jobs: Immigrants Displace Natives At Record Rate


The U.S. unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 9.0% in January, a 21-month low, while nonfarm payrolls rose by a surprisingly meager 36,000 jobs. Snowstorms probably had some effect on the anemic job numbers, given that sectors like construction and transportation and warehousing shed jobs. As a result, some economists said they would largely disregard the latest government report.

Not this economist. The “other” employment survey—of households rather than businesses—found that 117,000 jobs were created last month, with all the gains accruing to Hispanics—a group overrepresented in occupations normally impacted by weather.

In the month of January:

  • Total employment: rose 117,000 (+0.08 percent)

  • Hispanic employment: rose 193,000 (+0.97 percent)

  • Non-Hispanic employment: fell 76,000 (-0.06 percent)

VDARE.com`s American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI) rose to a record in January as Hispanics gained jobs at about 16-times the rate of non-Hispanics:

Since the official end of the recession in June 2009 non-Hispanics have lost 1.2 million jobs while Hispanics have gained 490,000 positions.

  • For every 1,000 Hispanics employed in June 2009 there were 1,025 employed in January 2011.

  • For every 1,000 non-Hispanics employed in June 2009 there were 995 employed in January 2011

Some of the MSM called the unexpectedly large decline in the unemployment rate a sign of a reinvigorated labor market. We beg to disagree: unemployment is down because people have given up looking for jobs. Those too discouraged to look are not in the labor market—and therefore not counted as unemployed.

Who are the discouraged workers? As a group, they are the native-born. Over the past year the foreign born labor force has grown while the native born labor force has declined: 

Employment Status by Nativity, Jan. 2010-Jan. 2011

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

 

Jan-10

Jan-11

Change

% Change

 

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

35,440

36,294

854

2.4%

Civilian labor force

23,924

24,517

593

2.5%

Employed

21,090

21,928

838

4.0%

 Employment/population ratio

59.5

60.4

0.9

1.5%

Unemployment rate (%)

11.8

10.6

-1.2

-10.2%

Not in labor force

11,515

11,777

262

2.3%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

201,292

202,410

1,118

0.6%

Civilian labor force

129,032

128,019

-1,013

-0.8%

Employed

115,719

115,671

-48

0.0%

 Employment/population ratio

57.5

57.1

-0.4

-0.7%

Unemployment rate (%)

10.3

9.6

-0.7

-6.8%

Not in labor force

72,360

74,391

2,031

2.8%

Source: BLS, “The Employment Situation—January 2011,” February 4, 2011. Table A-7. PDF

Over the past 12 months:  

  • The immigrant labor force (people working or looking for work) increased by 2.5%; the native labor force declined by 0.8%
  • Foreign-born employment rose by 838,000; native employment fell by 48,000
  • The share of foreign-born holding jobs rose 1.5%; the share of natives with jobs fell by 0.7%
  • The foreign-born working age population rose 2.4%; the native-born working age population rose 0.6%—one fourth as fast.

For a year now data on immigrant and native employment has been a part of the monthly Employment Report. Over this period we have not seen a single reference in the MSM to the burgeoning opportunity gap between these two groups.

Native displacement remains one of the greatest stories never told.

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