National Data | October Jobs: They’re Baaaack—Immigrant Displacement Of American Workers At Full Bore

The headline job story for this month is, well, the same old story. October payrolls rose by 80,000, which was slightly shy of the very modest expectations of most economists, but enough to push unemployment down by one-tenth of one percent, to 9.0%.

Of course, the Main Stream Media doesn’t tell you that those two factoids come from different surveys. Payrolls are from a survey of employers; the unemployment rate is calculated from a survey of households. The Household Survey records the race, ethnicity, and nativity (but not legal status) of its respondents. That might explain why it is so rarely vetted by the MSM.

Household Survey employment rose by 277,000 in October—more than three-times the payroll survey figure. That’s good news—until you drill down to the details.

We do that for immigrant and native-born a.k.a. American employment in our New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI), and for Hispanics and non-Hispanics in our classic VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (VDAWDI).

The New VDAWDI is “new” because, amazingly, it wasn’t until January 2010 that the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] began publishing monthly job figures for immigrant and native-born workers. And, unfortunately, these data are still not seasonally adjusted, making month to month trends difficult to interpret. We resolve this problem by applying the immigrant and native-born American employment shares as calculated from unadjusted data to the seasonally adjusted employment total.

We estimate that in October foreign-born employment rose by 389,000 positions, an increase of 1.8%, while native-born American employment fell by 112,000, or by 0.1%.

To calculate New VDAWDI we set native-born American and immigrant employment when President Obama assumed office  in January 2009 at 100 each. From that January to this October immigrant employment rose by 4.1%—pushing the immigrant employment index up to 104.1. Over the same period, native-born American employment declined by 2.3%, putting the native-born employment index down to 97.7. We then take the ratio of immigrant to native-born employment indexes and multiply by 100.

Bottom line: in October NVDAWDI rose to 106.6 – or 100 times 104.1 divided by 97.7.

Graphic 1

The resurgence of American worker displacement by immigrants is confirmed by comparing the seasonally unadjusted figures for October 2010 and October 2011. In particular, October was the first month since May in which immigrants gained jobs at a faster clip than American workers when compared to the same month of last year:.

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

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

 

 

Oct-10

Oct-11

Change

% Change

 

 

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

36,341

37,001

660

1.8%

Civilian labor force

24,530

24,849

319

1.3%

     Participation rate (%)

67.5%

67.2%

-0.3% pts.

-0.4%

Employed

22,281

22,648

367

1.6%

Employment/population %

61.3%

61.2%

-0.1% pts.

-0.2%

Unemployed

2,249

2,201

-48

-2.1%

     Unemployment rate (%)

9.2%

8.9%

-0.3% pts.

-3.3%

Not in labor force

11,811

12,152

341

2.9%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

202,189

203,268

1,079

0.5%

Civilian labor force

129,122

129,239

117

0.1%

     Participation rate (%)

63.9%

63.6%

-0.3%pts.

-0.5%

Employed

117,468

118,338

870

0.7%

Employment/population %

58.1%

58.2%

0.1% pts.

0.2%

Unemployed

11,654

10,901

-753

-6.5%

     Unemployment rate (%)

9.0%

8.4%

-0.6% pts.

-6.7%

Not in labor force

73,067

74,029

962

1.3%

Source: BLS, "The Employment Situation - October 2011," November 4, 2011. Table A-7.

PDF

Over the past 12 months:

  • Immigrants gained 367,000 jobs, a 1.6% increase; native-born American workers gained 870,000 positions, an 0.7% increase.  ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The foreign-born working age population increased by 1.6%; the comparable native-born American population increased by 0.5%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The unemployment rate for native-born Americans fell by 0.6 percentage points; the rate for immigrants fell by 0.3 points. ADVANTAGE NATIVES
  • Labor force participation rates fell by 0.3 percentage points for immigrants and native-born Americans. TIE

VDAWDI classic, which used Hispanic job growth as a proxy for immigrant employment because so many Hispanics are foreign-born, provides further evidence that the displacement hiatus is over:

Graphic 1

               In October 2011:

  • Total employment rose 277,000 (+0.20  percent)
  • non-Hispanic employment rose 66,000 (+0.06 percent)
  • Hispanic employment rose 57,000 (+1.03 percent)

               Hispanic job growth—more than 1 percent in October—is extraordinary. If it continues, we will see a doubling of the Hispanic employment in 72 months. Extrapolate this further and you have not displacement, but takeover.

What are the odds that immigrant-driven American worker displacement will make it into the upcoming GOP Presidential candidates’ debate on November 9?

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