National Data | Immigration-Spurred Population Growth Swamps June Jobs

Even liberal mouthpieces aren’t hiding their dismay at June’s jobs numbers, which came out Friday: 80,000 new jobs, up marginally from the (revised) job increase of 77,000 in May.

 See The Jobs Doldrums and Obama`s Future, by Robert Reich, Huffington Post, July 6, 2012.

On the most optimistic interpretation (see household survey, below), employers added barely enough jobs to keep up with working-age population growth. Robert Reich cites the common estimate: that would take 125,000 new jobs. (Needless to say, Reich does not mention that somewhere between a quarter and a third of workforce growth currently comes from immigration—see table below).

And certainly job growth was not enough to shrink the 13-million army of unemployed.

The official unemployment rate remained at 8.2%. The more meaningful jobless rate, which includes people too discouraged to look for work plus those involuntarily working part-time, edged up to 14.9% from 14.8% the prior month.

In contrast, the “other” employment survey, of households rather than businesses, reports that 128,000 jobs were added in June. To the puzzlement of economists, the household survey is often the stronger—we have suggested this is because it captures illegal immigration.

The household survey also reports national origin. Our analysis of household data for the month of June shows:

  • Total employment rose 128,000, or by 0.30%
  • Foreign-born employment fell by 108,000, or by -0.47%
  • Native-born employment rose by 236,000, or by 0.20%

In other words, June was one of the rare months when the native-born garnered all of the gains. There is no shortage of explanations. June was hot and dry in much of the country, a weather pattern not friendly to the landscaping and exterior maintenance jobs disproportionately filled by immigrant workers.

But June was an anomaly. The longer term trend, in which immigrants gain jobs at a faster pace than natives, remains intact.

Monthly foreign- and native-born employment statistics first appeared in the government’s monthly household employment survey in January 2010. Prior to that, VDARE.com used Hispanic workers as a proxy to estimate American worker displacement. The employment data for natives and foreign-born are not seasonally adjusted, so BLS compares the current month with the same month of the prior year. As a result January 2009—the month Barack Obama was inaugurated—is also the first month of readily available data for native and immigrant employment.

In President Obama’s first month in office – January 2009—native-born workers held 84.8% of all U.S. jobs.  This June the native-born share slipped to 83.9%—a seemingly modest loss, until you apply those percentages to the 142.4 million plus individuals working in the U.S.  From January 2009 to June 2012 immigrant employment rose by 1.212 million, or by 5.6%. Over the same period native-born employment fell by 1.02 million, or by 0.8%.

We graph the disparate native-born and foreign-born employment trends in our New VDARE.com American Worker Displacement Index (NVDAWDI).

Obama`s Legacy

The native employment growth line is black, immigrant employment growth is pink, and NVAWDI—the ratio of immigrant to native-born job growth—is yellow.

To calculate NVDAWDI we set both native and immigrant employment in January 2009 at 100.0. The immigrant employment index (pink line) rose from 100.0 in January 2009 to 105.6 in June 2012, while the index of native employment fell from 100.0 to 99.2.  

Bottom line: NVAWDI in June was 106.5 (100 times 105.6 divided by 99.2.)

While lower than in May, the June NVDAWDI was the third-highest monthly displacement reading since Barack Obama took office.

Continued American worker displacement is also confirmed by comparing the seasonally unadjusted figures for June 2012 with June 2011:

Employment Status by Nativity, June 2011-June 2012

(numbers in 1000s; not seasonally adjusted)

 

Jun-11

Jun-12

Change

% Change

Foreign born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

36,323

37,315

992

2.7%

Civilian labor force

24,294

25,009

715

2.9%

     Participation rate (%)

66.9%

67.0%

0.1%

0.1%

Employed

22,260

22,985

725

3.3%

Employment/population %

61.3%

61.6%

0.3%

0.5%

Unemployed

2,034

2,024

-10

-0.5%

     Unemployment rate (%)

8.4%

8.1%

-0.3%

-3.6%

Not in labor force

12,029

12,306

277

2.3%

 

Native born, 16 years and older

Civilian population

203,166

205,840

2,674

1.3%

Civilian labor force

130,244

131,377

1,133

0.9%

     Participation rate (%)

64.1%

63.8%

-0.3%

-0.5%

Employed

117,869

120,217

2,348

2.0%

Employment/population %

58.0%

58.4%

0.4%

0.7%

Unemployed

12,375

11,160

-1,215

-9.8%

     Unemployment rate (%)

9.5%

8.5%

-1.0%

-10.5%

Not in labor force

72,922

74,464

1,542

2.1%

Source: BLS, “The Employment Situation – June 2012,” July 6, 2012. Table A-7.

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Over the past 12 months:

  • Immigrants gained 725,000 jobs, a 3.3% increase; native-born workers gained 2,348,000 positions, a 2.0% increase.  ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The unemployment rate for the native-born fell by 1.0 percentage points; the rate for immigrants fell by 0.3 percentage points. ADVANTAGE NATIVES
  • Employment as a percent of population rose for the foreign-born but fell for the native-born ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The labor force participation rate—a measure of worker confidence – rose by 0.1% point for immigrants; it fell  by 0.3 % points for the native-born. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS
  • The immigrant labor force (working or looking for work) rose by 2.9%; the native-born labor force rose by 0.9%. ADVANTAGE IMMIGRANTS

The foreign-born population of working age continues to increase more than twice as fast as the comparable native-born population—2.7% versus 1.3% over the past 12 months.

President Obama’s notorious Administrative Amnesty enacting the Dream Act will unleash some one million immigrant graduates into the workforce. This can only exacerbate this gap between foreign-born and native-born workforce growth rates. The same is true for GOP nominee-presumptive Mitt Romney’s plans to increase skilled immigration.

Bipartisan pandering to special interests continues to preclude the obvious solution: an immigration moratorium.