National Data | January Jobs: Immigrants Displace Natives at a Record Clip—And That’s Even Before Amnesty!

It’s a sick labor market, with immigrants are already displacing Americans, into which our bipartisan political elite is inexplicably planning to amnesty 12-20 million illegal aliens and increase legal immigration, the January jobs report revealed last Friday

The unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent in January. It has made no progress since September 2012 and is still about where it was when President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

American employers added 157,000 jobs in January, compared with a revised 196,000 jobs the previous month. For perspective (which you never see supplied by the Main Stream Media or, for that matter, by Establishment economists) about 90,000 legal immigrants arrive each month.  Or about 1.062 million per year: see the DHS’s report U.S. Legal Permanent Residents: 2011.

(But the economy did add one-third of a million more jobs in 2012 than previously estimated, with a large chunk coming in the final months of the year).

This generally unimpressive assessment is based on the survey of employer payrolls. But the “other” employment survey, of households, finds a mere 17,000 jobs were created in January. (For a discussion of the differences between the Employer and Household surveys, click here).

The Household Survey reports immigrant and native-born employment. In January, there was record immigrant displacement of American workers:

  • Total Household survey employment rose 17,000 (+0.01 percent)
  • Foreign-born employment increased by 112,000 (+0.48 percent)
  • Native-born employment fell by 95,000 (-0.08 percent)

Note that the January numbers also reflect revised population benchmarks.

Unfortunately no details are provided on how this change allocates among immigrants and native-born. The Labor Department lamely notes: “In accordance with usual practice, BLS will not revise the official household survey estimates for December 2012 and earlier months.”

So January 2013 job growth is based on updated population figures for January and older unrevised population figures for December 2012—literally comparing apples to oranges. In my experience, this is not “usual practice” for government statisticians. Could this asymmetry understate native-born worker displacement?

We do not know.

But we do know that data published over the course of Barack Obama’s first term show foreign-born workers relentlessly gained jobs, while native-born Americans lost them. 

            From January 2009 to January 2013:

  • Total household survey employment rose 1.101 million (+0.77 percent)
  • Foreign-born employment increased by 1.721 million (+7.95 percent)
  • Native-born employment fell by 620,000 (-0.51 percent)

Month-to-month changes in native and immigrant employment in Mr. Obama’s first term are sketched in our New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI):

National Data, By Edwin S. Rubenstein | January Jobs: Immigrants Displace Natives at a Record Clip—And That’s Even Before Amnest

The blue line tracks native job growth, the pink line immigrant job growth, while the yellow line is the ratio of immigrant to native job growth, which we call the New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI).

American worker displacement is also confirmed by comparing the published figures for December 2012 and December 2011:

Employment Status by Nativity,

Jan. 2012 to Jan. 2013

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted) 

 

Jan-12

Jan-13

Change

% Change

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

37,593

37,952

359

1.0%

Civilian labor force

25,156

25,240

84

0.3%

Participation rate (%)

66.9%

66.5%

-0.4 %pts.

-0.6%

Employed

22,803

23,089

286

1.3%

Employment/population %

60.7%

60.8%

0.1 %pts.

0.2%

Unemployed

2,353

2,150

-203

-8.6%

Unemployment rate (%)

9.4%

8.5%

-0.9 %pts.

-9.6%

Not in labor force

12,437

12,712

275

2.2%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

204,676

206,711

2,035

1.0%

Civilian labor force

128,329

129,555

1,226

1.0%

Participation rate (%)

62.7%

62.7%

0.0 %pts.

0.0%

Employed

117,141

118,524

1,383

1.2%

Employment/population %

57.2%

57.3%

0.1 %pts.

0.2%

Unemployed

11,188

11,030

-158

-1.4%

Unemployment rate (%)

8.7%

8.5%

-0.2 %pts.

-2.3%

Not in labor force

76,347

77,156

809

1.1%

Source: BLS, “The Employment Situation – January 2013,” February 1, 2013. Table A-7. PDF

From January 2012 to January 2013:

  • Immigrants gained 286,000 jobs, a 1.3% increase; native-born workers gained 1,383,000 positions, a 1.2% increase.  ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The immigrant unemployment rate fell by 0.9 percentage points—or by 9.6%; native-born unemployment fell by 0.2 percentage points—a 2.3% decline. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS—HOWEVER
  • The labor force participation rate—a measure of worker confidence—fell for immigrants and was unchanged for native-born. ADVANTAGE NATIVES—HOWEVER:
  •  The labor force participation rate for immigrants in January 2013 (66.5%) was significantly above the rate for the native-born (62.7 %.) ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The employment/population ratio (percent of working age population holding jobs) rose by 0.1 percentage points, or by 0.2%, for native-born and immigrants TIE 

Both the foreign-born and native-born populations grew by 1.0% over the past year, according to these figures. This is a marked change from what we have seen over the past four years, when immigrant population grew, on average, two to three times faster than the native population. I suspect this is a direct—deliberate?—result of the asymmetrical treatment of January 2013 population noted above.

We’ll see.

With this weak labor market, Washington should be considering an immigration moratorium, until unemployment is back down to acceptable levels. Instead, it’s proposing the exact opposite.

We’ll see about that, too.

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