National Data | December's Employment Report: Three-Fifths Of New Jobs Went To Immigrants

This December jobs number—a gain of 200,000 according to survey of business establishments—was hailed as a sign that the economic recovery has finally built up a head of steam. The downtick in unemployment, to 8.5% from November’s revised 8.7%, added to the euphoria gripping the MSM.

Reality check, please.

Current immigration policy brings in around 100,000 new workers each month. This means that as much as half of December’s job gain may have accrued to people who just arrived in the country that month—including illegal aliens.

Even at December’s elevated job creation rate, it would take about seven more years—until around 2019—to absorb workers who lost jobs as well as new entrants into the labor force. We are 10 million jobs shy of where we need to be.

The “other” employment survey, of households rather than businesses, reported a gain of 176,000 jobs in December. At this rate it would take eight years to regain pre-Great Recession unemployment rates.

The Household Survey is rarely headlined in the MSM. To do so would reveal inconvenient truths about the race, ethnicity, and nativity of new American workers. Our analysis of seasonally unadjusted household employment figures finds that 107,000, or 61%, of December’s new jobs went to immigrants. Just 69,000, or 39%, went to natives. This translates to a robust 0.5% gain in immigrant employment and a minuscule 0.06% lift for native-born employment.

In fact, at this rate, native-born Americans (of all races) may never recoup the job losses suffered during the Obama years.

January 2009—the month Barack 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 the practical impact of his economic policies.

It’s not a pretty picture for native-born workers:

January 2012 Graphic 1

While immigrant employment (the red line) rose by 4.7% from January 2009 through December 2011, native-born employment (the black line) slumped by 2.0%.

Our New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI) quantifies the rate at which natives lose jobs to immigrants. To calculate NVDAWDI we set native-born and immigrant employment in January 2009 at 100.0. From that January to this December immigrant employment rose by 4.7% - pushing the immigrant employment index up to 104.7. Over the same period native born employment declined by 2.0%, pushing the native employment index down to 98.0. We then take the ratio of immigrant to native-born employment indexes and multiply by 100.

Bottom line: December NVDAWDI was 106.8—or 100 times 104.7 divided by 98.0. This is the second largest displacement reading since Barack Obama took office.

December was also a month in which immigrants gained jobs at a faster clip than native-born American workers when compared to the same month of the prior year:

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

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

 

Dec-10

Dec-11

Change

% Change

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

36,545

36,851

306

0.8%

Civilian labor force

24,783

24,836

53

0.2%

  Participation rate (%)

67.8%

67.4%

-0.4%

-0.6%

Employed

22,153

22,647

494

2.2%

Employment/population %

60.6%

61.5%

0.9%

1.5%

Unemployed

2,630

2,189

-441

-16.8%

  Unemployment rate (%)

10.6%

8.8%

-1.8%

-17.0%

Not in labor force

11,762

12,015

253

2.2%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

202,344

203,733

1,389

0.7%

Civilian labor force

128,373

128,536

163

0.1%

  Participation rate (%)

63.4%

63.1%

-0.3%

-0.5%

Employed

117,006

118,033

1,027

0.9%

Employment/population %

57.8%

57.9%

0.1%

0.2%

Unemployed

11,367

10,503

-864

-7.6%

  Unemployment rate (%)

8.9%

8.2%

-0.7%

-7.9%

Not in labor force

73,971

75,167

1,196

1.6%

Source: BLS, "The Employment Situation - December 2011," January 6, 2012. Table A-7.

EDIT

Over the past 12 months:

  • Immigrants gained 494,000 jobs, a 2.2% increase; native-born workers gained 1,027,000 positions, a 0.9% increase. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The foreign-born working age population increased by 0.8%; the comparable native population increased by 0.7%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The unemployment rate for immigrants fell by 1.8 percentage points; the rate for natives fell by 0.7 percentage points. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • Labor force participation rates fell by 0.9 percentage points for immigrants and by 0.4 points for natives. ADVANTAGE NATIVES

VDAWDI Classic, which compared Hispanic and non-Hispanic job growth since January 2001 as a proxy for American worker displacement, recorded record displacement in December:

January 2012 Graphic 2

In December 2011:

  • Total employment rose 176,000 (+0.13 percent)
  • non-Hispanic employment rose 51,000 (+0.04 percent)
  • Hispanic employment rose 125,000 (+0.61 percent)

Since January 2001:

  • Total employment rose 3.0 million (+2.2 percent)
  • non-Hispanic employment fell 1.6 million (-1.3 percent)
  • Hispanic employment rose 4.6 million (+28.4 percent)

Since the start of the (so-called) recovery in June 2009:

  • Total employment rose 752,000 (+0.5 percent)
  • non-Hispanic employment fell 338,000 (-0.3 percent)
  • Hispanic employment rose 1.1 million (+5.6 percent)

Recovery? Not for native-born Americans—or non-Hispanics.

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