National Data| August Jobs: Immigrant Displacement Of American Workers Off The charts

Immigrant displacement of American workers has reached an all-time high—right as Congress returns from its August recess and, incredibly, is looking at passing some version of the Eight Gangsters’ Amnesty/ Immigration Surge bill.

Employers added 169,000 jobs in August, slightly below expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 7.3%, mainly because people dropped out of the labor force and were no longer counted as unemployed. Labor force participation—the share of the working-age population that is either working or looking for work—has been dropping since the economy collapsed in late 2008, but is now at its lowest level since 1978.

The MSM and the Wall Street crowd played this as another ho-hum report. The numbers were good enough to keep current GDP growth projections intact but disappointing enough to forestall serious monetary tightening in the near term—a relief to Wall Street, which likes low interest rates.

But none of the chattering class commentary focused on the “other” employment report—of households rather than businesses. Total employment fell by 115,000 according to the Household Survey. Our analysis of BLS data finds native-born workers suffered more than 100% of the loss, while foreign-born enjoyed a big job gain.

In August:

  • Total employment fell by 115,000, or by -0.08%
  • Native-born employment fell by 338,000, or by -0.28%
  • Foreign-born employment rose by 223,000, or by +0.95%

August is a month when seasonal factors—the change in car model years, the start of school, summer job terminations—can swamp long term economic trends. Even so, this August seems to be one for the record books. The immigrant share of U.S. employment—16.49%—was a new high for any August during the Obama years:

Foreign-born Share of Total Employment (%)

 

July

August

% chg.

2009

15.50%

15.49%

-0.06%

2010

15.88%

16.02%

0.88%

2011

15.96%

15.89%

-0.44%

2012

16.22%

16.19%

-0.18%

2013

16.33%

16.49%

0.98%

Source: Author's analysis of BLS unseasonalized data.

From August 2009 to August 2013 the immigrant share of total employment rose by 1 percentage point—from 15.49% to 16.49%. Had the immigrant share remained at its August 2009 level, 1.44 million more native-born Americans would have been employed this August, and the native-born unemployment rate would have been 6.4% instead of the 7.5% reported by BLS.

The displacement of native-born Americans by immigrants reached an Obama-era peak in August. This is made clear in our New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI). It tracks native-born and foreign-born employment growth for every month since the start of the Obama Administration:

National Data, By Edwin S. Rubenstein | August Jobs: Immigrant Displacement Of Americans Displacement Off The charts

Native-born employment growth is the blue line, immigrant employment growth is in pink, and NVAWDI—the ratio of immigrant to native-born job growth—is yellow. The graphic starts at 100.0 for both native-born and immigrant employment in January 2009, and tracks their growth since that month.

From January 2009 to August 2013:

  • Foreign-born employment increased by 2.130 million, or by +9.8%. The immigrant employment index rose from 100.0 to 109.8.
  • Native-born employment declined by 181,000 or by -0.15%. The native-born employment index in August 2013 was 99.8, or slightly below the level of January 2009.
  • NVDAWDI (the ratio of immigrant to native-born employment growth indexes) rose from 100.0 to a record 110.0 (100X(109.8/99.8)

A more detailed picture of American worker displacement over the past year is seen in figures published in the BLS monthly job report:

Employment Status by Nativity, Aug.2012- Aug.2013

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

Aug.2012

Aug.2013

Change

% Change

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

37,847

38,197

350

0.9%

Civilian labor force

24,998

25,540

542

2.2%

Participation rate (%)

66.1%

66.9%

0.8% pts.

1.2%

Employed

23,080

23,833

753

3.3%

Employment/population %

61.0%

62.4%

1.4% pts.

2.3%

Unemployed

1,918

1,707

-211

-11.0%

Unemployment rate (%)

7.7%

6.7%

-1.0% pts.

-13.0%

Not in labor force

12,849

12,658

-191

-1.5%

Native-born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

205,719

207,762

2,043

1.0%

Civilian labor force

130,257

130,431

174

0.1%

Participation rate (%)

63.3%

62.8%

-0.5% pts.

-0.8%

Employed

119,479

120,676

1,197

1.0%

Employment/population %

58.1%

58.1%

0.0% pts.

0.0%

Unemployed

10,778

9,765

-1,013

-9.4%

Unemployment rate (%)

8.3%

7.5%

-0.8% pts.

-9.6%

Not in labor force

75,462

77,331

1,869

2.5%

Source: BLS, The Employment Situation - August 2013, September 6, 2013. Table A-7. PDF







Over the past 12 months:

  • Immigrants gained 753,000 jobs, a 3.3% increase; native-born American workers gained 1,197,000 positions, a 1.0% increase. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The unemployment rate for immigrants fell by 1.0 percentage point – or by 13.0%; the native-born American unemployment rate fell by 0.8 percentage points—a 9.6% decline. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The number of immigrants “not in the labor force”—i.e., neither working nor looking for work, fell by 191,000, or by 1.5%; the number of native-born Americans not in the labor force rose by 1.869 million, or by 2.5%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS; AS A RESULT:
  • The labor force participation rate—a measure of worker confidence—declined for the native-born and rose smartly for immigrants. At 66.9%, the immigrant participation rate in August 2013 was 4.1% points above the native rate.

While many Americans have lost jobs to competing immigrants, all American workers have lost at least some income. By increasing the supply of labor, immigration over a recent twenty-year period reduced average income of native-born American males by $1,700, or 4%, according to Professor George Borjas. [Increasing the Supply of Labor Through Immigration: Measuring the Impact on Native-born Workers, By George Borjas, April 2004]

Larger percentage losses are indicated for native-born American high-school dropouts, Blacks, and Hispanics.

Bottom line: both the quantity and the quality of jobs held by native-born Americans has declined during the Obama years.

This is the economic environment into which the (bipartisan) Gang of Eight want to amnesty an unknown number of illegal aliens—and double or triple legal immigration.

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