National Data | February Jobs: Statistical Noise, Better Data, Long-Run American Worker Displacement Continues

Non-farm payrolls rose by 192,000 in February, the fastest pace since May according to the Labor Department. But Wall Street was expecting even more robust growth—and, in fact, got it if you accept the less-widely publicized employment survey.

We refer, of course, to the survey of households rather than businesses. Exactly 250,000 new positions were created last month according to that survey—but in a radical departure from the long-term trend, Hispanic workers lost ground to non-Hispanics:

In February 2011:

  • Total employment: rose 250,000  (+0.2 percent)

  • Hispanic employment: fell 193,000 (-0.9 percent)

  • Non-Hispanic employment: rose 437,000 (+0.4 percent)

Accordingly, VDARE.COM`s American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI) fell to 125.6 in February from the record 127.2 reached in January.

Statistical noise? Of course.  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 1,015 employed in February 2011.

  • For every 1,000 non-Hispanics employed in June 2009 there were 997 employed in February 2011

As VDARE.com readers know, our focus on Hispanic job growth is rooted in necessity rather than choice. Our interest is immigration, and Hispanics are disproportionately foreign-born. They are a convenient (if conservative) proxy. Back in 2004, when we unveiled VDAWDI, data on foreign-born workers was only published annually.

Early in 2010, the Federal government mysteriously did begin publishing monthly foreign-born data—but not in a seasonally-adjusted format, making month to month comparisons difficult. 

We are thinking about this problem—if you have suggestions, please email me

But we do now have the very telling year-to-year comparisons of foreign- and native-born employment in the monthly Department of Labor report. IT confirms the long-run displacement trend:

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

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

 

Feb-10

Feb-11

Change

% Change

 

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

35,315

36,026

711

2.0%

Civilian labor force

23,854

23,958

104

0.4%

Employed

21,102

21,614

512

2.4%

    Employment/population ratio

59.8

60.0

0.2

0.3%

Unemployment rate (%)

11.5

9.8

-1.7

-14.8%

Not in labor force

11,461

12,068

607

5.3%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

201,683

202,825

1,142

0.6%

Civilian labor force

129,341

128,676

-665

-0.5%

Employed

116,102

116,478

376

0.3%

    Employment/population ratio

57.6

57.4

-0.2

-0.3%

Unemployment rate (%)

10.2

9.5

-0.7

-6.9%

Not in labor force

72,342

74,148

1,806

2.5%

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

Over the past 12 months:  

  • The foreign-born labor force (people working or looking for work) increased by 104,000 or 2.0%; the native-born labor force declined by 665,000 or 0.5%
  • Foreign-born employment rose by 512,000 or 2.4%; native-born employment rose by 376,000 or 0.3%
  • The share of foreign-born holding jobs rose 0.3%; the share of native-born with jobs fell by 0.3%
  • The foreign-born unemployment rate fell 1.7 points; native-born unemployment rate fell  0.7%

And then there is the continued growth in foreign-born working age population (16 years and older.). It rose 2.0% in the twelve months ending February 201—or more than three-times the corresponding rate for native population growth.

Coming at a time when many illegal aliens (and probably legal immigrants) have repatriated themselves to Mexico or wherever, this highlights the economic perversity of our legal immigration policy.

And the need for an immigration moratorium—now!

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